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California may not see much action in the Presidential race this fall, but there are some critical issues on the state ballot, expecially Propositions 32 and 30.

Nation political columnist John Nichols, author of “Uprising,” a great account of the Wisconsin workers mass movement last year, calls Prop. 32 the most important labor battle nationally in this year’s November election. That’s also reflected in recent reports in the New York Times, and others in the national press.

Proposition 30 will leave a significant imprint on the future of California, whether big budget holes will prompt continuing on a debilitating path of more cuts in education, healthcare and other vital programs that are intrinsic to a humane society, or whether those who have benefited the most from income disparity will be asked to pay their fair share.

Prop. 32, a threat to patient care

Every day in Sacramento our legislative advocates encounter a daunting phalange of hospital, insurance, pharmaceutical, and other corporate healthcare lobbyists who already hold enormous sway over legislation and regulation in California.

We have to battle continually to defend critical patient protections, such as safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, limits on hospital, insurance and nursing home abuses, pushing hospitals to adhere to seismic safety laws, as well as protect the rights of nurses and others who provide hands on care to take needed meal and rest breaks and not be forced to work dangerously long overtime hours.

Multiply that by every other corporate sector, and the hefty influence of its main lobbying arm, the California Chamber of Commerce which every year produces a “Jobs Killer” list of bills it invariably succeeds in getting killed, and you get a picture of what Sacramento is like. Now.  

And that’s before Prop. 32, the most recent in repeated efforts by corporations and their far right allies to stifle any opposition to their agenda by seeking to bar unions from using the collective voice, and money, of their members to counter the power of the corporate elite in public policy.

Since the last two California initiatives targeting unions were roundly rejected by voters, this time they tried to hide their true intent by pretending to impose equal restrictions on corporations and unions under the façade of being genuine campaign finance reform.  Except, of course, it is not.

Their main claim of “balance” is that they bar corporations and unions from using payroll deductions for politics. Except, that’s only how unions mostly engage in campaign spending since individual union members can never hope to match the massive wealth those of giant corporations, who spend directly out of their profit margins, or the billionaires who so openly buy our elections.

Further, Prop. 32 wrote in special exemptions for corporate-linked super PACS, a point well made by the League of Women Voters in this ad.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence is who is bankrolling the Yes on 32 campaign, billionaires, like Thomas Seibel who has hosted fundraisers for Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, and Charles Munger, Jr., who alone has given over $11 million to the campaign, Wall Street investors, and the American Future Fund, which is directly associated with the Koch brothers.  

The Koch brothers are well known as major funders of the national drive to roll back rights for workers across the U.S. Their presence symbolizes the national stakes in this fight, and a reason we dare not lose as it would give a huge boost to the agenda of the Koch Brothers and allies like the American Exchange Legislative Council to nationalize their anti-union program.

Prop. 30 – the future of education and healthcare is at stake

Prop. 30 is Gov. Brown’s initiative to help repair our broken state budget, still recovering the disaster left by that cartoon action figure who held the governor’s office for the prior seven years.

It would generate billions in additional revenues for public education and other basic needs, mostly by raising the tax rates on upper income Californians, with the highest percentage increase, 3 percent, on those with annual incomes over $500,000. There’s simple tax fairness in asking them to pay. One-third of income gains in California the past two decades went to the richest 1 percent.

Our schools would be the principle beneficiary of the new funds, and it’s about time. California schools are shamefully underfunded which is a moral question for us all. Quality public education is central to the notion of a more just, equitable society.

But it is essential for our healthcare safety net as well. As nurses we see the painful impact of too many years of state cuts in health programs, especially those that provide care for the most vulnerable in our population. Some $15 billion has been cut in state health and social service programs the past three years, according to a report from the Health and Human Services Network of California.

Without Prop. 30, and the boost it will provide to the state’s general fund, we can expect even more devastating cuts to healthcare, as well as to our schools, libraries and other essentials we all count on.

We know that our families, too, can not succeed unless our schools have teachers, unless colleges are affordable, unless health care is obtainable, unless libraries stay open, and unless neighborhoods stay safe. Prop. 30 puts the state’s priority back on what matters: our future, our families, our neighborhoods.

Please help us get the word out. No on 32, Yes on 30.

-- A message from Zenei Cortez, RN, co-president, California Nurses Association

Originally posted to National Nurses Movement on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    National Nurses United, (AFL-CIO): the new RN "super-union" representing 150,000 nurses from all 50 states!

    by National Nurses Movement on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:32:55 PM PDT

  •  These measures are absolutely critical to (3+ / 0-)

    vote on, and deserve our wholehearted support (yes on 30, no on 32!)
      And Proposition 38 would be a huge help as well!

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:50:11 PM PDT

    •  so wrong about Prop 38 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Glen The Plumber

      Prop 38 is one of those sneaky ones that sounds good until you look into it further.

      Prop 38 raises taxes on the POOR (if I remember correctly, it raises taxes on those making as little as $9k/year)

    •  38 is bad, bad bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Glen The Plumber

      It is a direct competitor to 30 (i.e. the one with the highest votes becomes law if they both pass).  

      Under 38, taxes are raised on the poor, unlike 30.  Further, the money cannot be used to pay teachers (another reason the teachers unions don't support it).

      No progressive should vote for 38; only vote for 30.

      •  Well, I'm glad to hear this because it seemed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        to me (before hearing this) that 38 was going to bring in some desperately needed revenue, but that it wasn't likely to pass.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  jeopardy - I thought 38 could fund new teachers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        but not be used for raises for existing teachers.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:25:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          Looked again and you are correct.

        •  it's still bad though (0+ / 0-)

          and we need to vote for 30, not 38.

        •  and i re-looked at the taxes (0+ / 0-)

          and it forces people making as little as $7k/year to pay income taxes (think of Prop 38 as the "kick those greedy 47% in the balls" Prop.)

          •  jeopardy - they already pay 2% (0+ / 0-)

            This would move them to 2.4%. Even AGI's below $7K pay 1% in California. Those are for single tax payers. Joint filers are about twice the single amounts. The current top rate in California is 10.3%. Prop 38 would make our top rate the highest in the US at 12.5%. Prop 30 would raise the top rate to 13.3% or 21% higher than Hawaii, who currently has the top rate of 11.0%.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:44:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  get this straight, vcConservative (0+ / 0-)

              Prop 38 would raise taxes on taxable incomes as low as $7,316 a year.  In contrast, Prop 30 raises income taxes only on families earning over $500,000 a year.

              Only one can become law (whichever gets the most votes). That's why many right-wingers are pushing for (and funding) Prop 38.

              do NOT try to carry water for the right-wing here.

              •  jeopardy - well that was a very harsh comment (0+ / 0-)

                when I expressed no opinion on either proposition and just stated a few facts.

                The backer of Prop 38 is a very active Democrat and the supporters of Prop 38 are bipartisan, including the state PTA. Right-wingers are opposed to both and are actively campaigning against 30 & 38. I follow California politics closely and have seen no right wing support for 38.  

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:44:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  more info (0+ / 0-)

              about the politics of the backing of prop 38:

              Pollsters and political experts are starting to all but write off Proposition 38, the income tax hike measure on the November ballot, putting the focus on whether the campaign's wealthy backer will now set her sights on defeating Gov. Jerry Brown's competing measure.....

              With Proposition 38 struggling, observers are waiting to see if Munger, who has already contributed nearly $30 million toward her campaign, will shift strategies.

              Will she continue to funnel millions of dollars into her campaign, or will she instead start spending huge money on attack ads to defeat Brown's measure? Or will she simply throw in the towel and back Proposition 30 over her measure?

              •  jeopardy - Molly will continue to fund her Prop 38 (0+ / 0-)

                right to the end, but she won't attack Prop 30 or Gov Brown. Munger is a very active Democrat. There is a month to go and the Prop 38 ads are very good. However the outlook isn't good for 38, polling just under 40% and even isn't so good for Prop 30, currently polling at just over 50%. Historically tax increases need to poll about 65% heading into an election to achieve a majority at the ballot box.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:37:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  thks for great diary n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Glen The Plumber

    Paul Ryan had a minor in economics. What experience does he have to say that he's the great budget oracle? ~ Rob Zerban

    by anyname on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:09:07 PM PDT

  •  I am hoping Ca evolves to where corporation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Glen The Plumber

    Backed propositions require extra scrutiny as a default, and republican ones dismissed out of hand.

  •  And thank you NNM for posting this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, belle1

    and keeping us informed!

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:25:58 PM PDT

  •  Lots of NO on 32 ads on TV (0+ / 0-)

    I have yet to see a single YES on 32 ad but that may be because I am in a heavily blue area in metro SF. I am a NO on 32 but one item should be mentioned. Prop 32 would prohibit direct corporate contributions to the campaign funds of candidates for state and local office. Currently in California corporations can make direct contributions from corporate cash, unlike federal elections where corporate contributions are illegal under The Tillman Act of 1907.

    More YES on 38 ads, which are exceptionally well done, than YES on 30 ads which are catching some flak for misrepresenting how much of the Prop 30 money would be dedicated to education. A YES on 30 ad suggest that there are dedicated funds for education that will go directly to schools (which Prop 38 does) while critics claim that all the funds go to the State's general fund and are allocated by the legislature.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:24:35 PM PDT

  •  I always disliked the sheer amount of initiatives (0+ / 0-)

    When I lived in CA, i recall needing to vote on up to 85 initiatives. This is a crazy system that needs to be revised, IMHO.

    I too am interested in Nursing political issues, and woudl you do me a favor, pass along to your nursing friends, about my blog?

    http://joesar.wordpress.com/...

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

    by guavaboy on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:52:25 PM PDT

  •  i'll bet Sac has big RW radio stations dissing 30 (0+ / 0-)

    and selling 32 24/7, and may be instrumental in the outcome, just as they were all over cali recalling gov davis and passing numerous republican anti tax  anti gay and anti american BS.

    maybe one or two of those stations would be a good pace to protest.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:51:13 PM PDT

  •  Next Saturday will be statewide "Day of Action" (0+ / 0-)

    to canvass & phonebank on Props 30 & 32.  Check out your local Dem campaign office, CTA/SEIU or other affiliated labor union to get out information to voters in your area.  

    Vote by mail ballots go out next week.

    Walk and knock.

    Dial and talk.

    Do one or both....just do it.

    Rinse and repeat Sat 10/13 & 10/27.

  •  Screw 32 (0+ / 0-)

    Only unions collect dues through payroll deductions NOT corporations. There is a system with in every union that governs the tiny percent of the dues that go to politics and every member has the right to opt out.  However, The language in Prop. 32 continues to state that even if money is collected through voluntary practices the union cannot use the money for any political purpose or communicate with their members regarding politics. Second the language of prop. 32 states it will stop pay to play. It only stops it during the bidding process, than corporations can go back to giving moneys. It doesn’t stop Corporate Super PAC’s, Wal-Mart, which is not a corporation, Anti union Billionaire CEOs, or 501 4c non profits that don’t even have to report to the FPPC who gave them money.  Even the Chamber of Commerce can give unlimited amounts of money to their special interests. Let’s talk Chamber of Commerce, their attorneys and members attend every MSHA, OSHA or CAL OSHA hearing I have every attended fighting to stop or repeal health and safety laws that protect workers.  Yeah , that’s the folks I want to decide my working conditions and pay.  

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