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Many in labor believe that California Proposition 32 would be a near fatal blow to the California labor movement.
On the grounds that "special interests have too much power over government,"  conservative attorneys  wrote   California Proposition 32 to   ban direct contributions to California candidates by corporations and labor unions. It prohibits the collection of "political funds" from corporate employees and union members via payroll deduction, even if the employee or member voluntarily approves. Political funds include money spent for or against a candidate or ballot measure or for a party or political action committee, or PAC.
The proposition prohibits corporations and unions from using payroll deductions for political purposes, but of course corporations don’t use payroll deductions; they use their profits.  So, corporate donations would not be banned. Only unions would be affected by this ban.  It is a political bait and switch.  The proposition pretends to ban political contributions from both corporations and labor, and then they exempted the corporations.
If Proposition 32 passes, unions would lose much of their ability to organize and to fight back in politics. Learn more at

Steve Smith of state AFL-CIO claims that  dark money groups including the Koch brothers and Karl Rove have donated millions to pass Proposition 32.  The American Future Fund (AFF), a front group for corporate special interests that’s linked to the Kochs, dropped $4 million to the effort to pass Prop 32. American Future Fund is an Iowa-based “advocacy organization” backed primarily by oil interests and directly linked to billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch. As a 501(c)(4) organization, AFF does not disclose its donors and can receive unlimited contributions.
Like the battle for Wisconsin last year, Prop.32 in California is a part of a sustained anti union effort on the part of right wing extremist forces well funded by U.S. billionaires.  Bill Fletcher in his fine book, “They’re Bankrupting Us” and 20 other Myths about Unions, (2012) traces this major assault on unions back to the 1980’s and the Ronald Reagan presidency.  It is worth noting that Ronald Reagan was governor of California from 1968-1976,  Reagan crafted and fashioned his assault on labor through his campaign against the United Farm Workers  and in favor of the  grape growers.  The tools of the assault, and the ideological battles were developed and tested against the UFW before Reagan became a viable candidate for the Presidency.   Now, with Proposition 32 we are back to California to further decimate labor’s political participation.
We in Sacramento DSA have been tabling against Prop.32 and for Proposition 30 an effort to fund the schools and public services  for over 4 weeks on the CSU-Sacramento campus.  We have assistance and literature from my union the California Faculty Association (NEA, SEIU).

Originally posted to dcampbell on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and Dream Menders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dem Activist is also sabotaging CA (3+ / 0-)

    Molly Munger, whose father is vice chairman of Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, is spending 31 million dollars to sabotage Governor Brown's proposition to ensure a more progressive fiscal policy.

    Munger Siblings Spend $54 Million to Sway California Vote

    By Alison Vekshin - Oct 12, 2012 11:40 AM CT

    Brown, a 74-year-old Democrat, is campaigning for Proposition 30 to avoid deep cuts to schools. It would temporarily boost the state sales tax to 7.5 percent from 7.25 percent and raise the levy on income starting at $250,000. A rejection by voters would trigger $5.5 billion in education cuts. The budget he signed in June counts on more than $8 billion from the higher taxes.

    If both measures pass, only the tax increases from the proposal that gets the most yes votes would take effect, under the state constitution.

    “Unfortunately, because of their resources, they are able to attempt to drown out the voices of the united education community that is supporting Prop. 30,” said Dan Newman, a spokesman for the pro-Proposition 30 campaign.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:50:28 PM PDT

  •  Already being used against them (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, sunbro, cany, Glen The Plumber

    Latest ads I've seen specifically mentions the Kock suckers hand in promoting  prop. 32

  •  Prop. 38 (3+ / 0-)

    Those are the people who tick me off. All their ads feature little kids pleading for you to pass this POS. How lame is that? Their whole purpose is to defeat prop. 30.

    •  jake - Prop 38 funded by liberal Dem (3+ / 0-)

      Molly Munger was in the works before Prop 30 so the purpose was never to defeat Prop 30, it is to fund K12 education. The YES on 38 campaign was running ads that included a negative statement about Prop 30 to counter a Prop 30 ad that was widely faulted for making false claims. The YES on 38 campaign has pulled that ad. Munger has stated that she will continue to run the YES on 38 ads up to election day.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:43:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Proposition 32 has to be defeated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, jakedog42, Glen The Plumber

    And I like Proposition 30.  

    This came out today in the LA Times;

    Labor's big-money focus on Prop. 32 may hurt chances of Prop. 30

    SACRAMENTO — Labor unions are unloading tens of millions of dollars against a ballot measure that could limit their political clout in California, but the spending could come at a cost for one of their biggest allies: Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The unions are pooling their money to fight Proposition 32, which would eliminate their primary political fundraising tool — paycheck deductions — at the same time Brown is counting on their support for his tax-hike initiative also on the ballot next month.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:59:50 PM PDT

    •  I hope they both win. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Glen The Plumber

      Bottom line is I trust Jerry over those other people. My real wish is that we could do away with the prop. system, I'll probably get my second wish for a unicorn before that happens.

    •  There's a message there (3+ / 0-)

      A part of the purpose in the Right putting out all this shit year after year is to tie us up in defensive battles so that we can't move a progressive agenda forward.  They don't have to win on Prop 32 to have a victory - forcing unions to spend millions on this that should have gone to better things is already a win for them.
      The change we really need in CA - but can't have, per the Supreme's "money is speech" doctrine - would be a ban on paid signature gatherers.  If the only initiatives that could get on the ballot were those with borad grassroots support we could return the initiative process to its original purpose.

      "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

      by Chico David RN on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:39:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I voted today... (4+ / 0-)

    NO on prop 32.  I wish I could have voted "Hell No"

  •  Prop 32 Supporters: Extremely Dangerous Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:31:10 PM PDT

  •  dcampbell - Prop 32 prohibits corporations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    from contributing to campaigns.

    I am reading my Official Voter Information Guide and it states very clearly that Prop 32 prohibits corporations from making campaign contributions to candidates. Currently in California corporations can contribute directly to candidates for state and local elections, Prop 32 will change that. Corporations are prohibited from contributing to federal office candidates by The Tillman Act of 1907. What isn't restricted is independent expenditures, those not coordinated with candidates, because Citizens United would make it impossible for any state to prohibit corporations from making independent contributions to any candidate, for any office.

    I oppose Prop 32 because it is clearly an attack on the ability of unions to fund their political activities, but we should at least report on these propositions in an accurate manner.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:56:14 PM PDT

    •  Prohibits (0+ / 0-)

      I too am reading the Official voter information guide. The analysis by the Legislative Analysis says,

      " Prohibits Political Contributions by Corporations and Unions. The measure prohibits corporations and unions from making political contributions to candidates.  That is, they could not make contributions (1) directly to candidates or (2) to committees and that then make contributions to candidates.  This prohibition, however, does not affect corporations or union's ability to spend money on independent expenditures."
      Now go your T.V.  Watch the ads.  In my region the vast outpouring of ads if from supposedly "independent" expenditures.
      Thanks for your response.

      •  dcampbell - I think we are in agreement (0+ / 0-)

        Prop 32 changes the ability of both corporations and unions to make direct campaign contributions, which they are now legally allowed to do. As I noted no state law or proposition, or proposed state Constitutional Amendment, can prohibit independent expenditures, post Citizens United.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kochs at it again, with Rove (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    And the California effort is coming from the same right wing "law firm" of Holtzman-Vogel, also bringing you such hits as:

    Nathan Sproul
    Strategic Allied Consulting
    American Crossroads
    And, a few, years ago, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

    The RNC is owned by the Kochs.  Make no question a out it.

  •  The Ballot language states: (0+ / 0-)

    85150. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and this title, no corporation, labor union, or public employee labor union shall make a contribution to any candidate, candidate controlled committee; or to any other committee, including a political party committee, if such funds will be used to make contributions to any candidate or candidate controlled committee. {It doesn’t say, “ if donations are voluntary than you can give to any candidate or candidate controlled committee ….”.}

    85151. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and this title, no corporation, labor union, public employee labor union, government contractor, or government employer shall deduct from an employee’s wages, earnings, or compensation any amount of money to be used for political purposes.
     {Only unions have payroll deductions NOT corporations or gov. contractors, that's the second loophole.}

    85151. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and this title, no government contractor, or committee sponsored by a government contractor, shall make a contribution to any elected officer or committee controlled by any elected officer if such elected officer makes, participates in making, or in any way attempts to use his or her official position to influence the granting, letting, or awarding of a public contract to the government contractor during the period in which the decision to grant, let, or award the contract is to be made and during the term of the contract. {There are already laws on the books that address this but let’s look at the language. It states no Pay to Play but only during the bidding of the contract, than it no longer applies}

    So, even if a member opts to contribute voluntarily, the union still can't use the money for political purposes

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