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It would be easy for voters, sick of the auction of California politics to the biggest spenders, to be tempted by the misleading advertising for Proposition 32. But all the ads for 32 ought to come with a warning label – beware of buyer’s remorse.  

Anyone who has seen the No on 32 endorsements from the real campaign finance reform groups, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and Public Citizen, probably already understands the initiative is not what it claims.

Prop. 32 is almost entirely an attack on unions and their ability to pool the collective resources of their members to compete with the big corporate interests who, through their huge profits and profligate spending, already have enormous clout in elections and public policy in California.

But many are still unaware of the real impact for the Californians if Prop. 32 passes, which is why the California Nurses Association strongly opposes Prop. 32, as we describe in this video.

Every day in Sacramento, our handful of legislative advocates engage in underdog battles with armies of lobbyists from the hospital, insurance, pharmaceutical, and nursing home industries and their allies on a broad range of issues that directly affect public safety and quality patient care.

Every year we are forced to confront a flurry of bills and proposed regulations that would roll back limits on hospital, insurance and nursing home abuses, safe patient staffing, patient and worker protections, requirements that hospitals meet seismic safety deadlines, and the like.

That’s just in healthcare.  Those who fight for clean air and water, fewer pesticides on our food, safer workplaces, improved living standards for the lowest income Californians, or crackdowns on the special favors for big business, such as tax loopholes for yacht owners face similar challenges.

Even with worker and consumer friendly majorities in the Capitol, the average Californian would be shocked to see how much sway the biggest corporations, through their lobbying arms like the California Chamber of Commerce, already have in killing legislation and regulations they oppose and winning new special favors. All in back rooms, out of the public eye, with our elected representatives leery of the flood of money they may face at election time if they don’t go along.

Over the past decade, nurses have been successful in helping achieve many important patient protections. These have included nurse-to-patient ratios, curbs on HMO abuses, a law requiring hospitals to offer new mothers longer stays to avoid premature infant deaths, protection for workers who expose unsafe hospital conditions, increased public oversight of hospitals and nursing homes, expanded rules on what insurance companies must offer, and other vital legislation.

But it is never easy, and the phalanx of corporate lobbyists on the other side is always daunting, and they often win. Now. Even before Prop. 32.

Had Prop. 32 been in effect, none of those bills would have become law, and the healthcare corporations we challenge would have a free pass in Sacramento.

California nurses have long advocated genuine campaign finance reform, through legislation and ballot measures, and an end to the insanity of the drowning of our democracy with money.

But until that day, nurses and other advocates for working people must be able to continue to stand up to what Franklin Roosevelt once called the “malefactors of wealth” and the corporations whose prime directive is their profits, not the public interest.

That’s what’s really at stake with Prop. 32.  

-- A message from Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-president, California Nurses Association

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

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

    by National Nurses Movement on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:48:05 PM PDT

  •  I just voted here in Cal and I'm wondering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Friend of the court, ludlow

    Why this Koch Bro Bullshit is even on the ballet!!!
    Disgusting Actually.

    "It is the difficulties that make us stronger."

    by Chamonix on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:56:56 PM PDT

    •  Because the rightwing has a national agenda (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ludlow

      This inititive is drawing tens of millions from national rightwing, anti-union groups who believe gagging unions in California will boost their attack on unions across the U.S.

      As this blog today in the San Francisco Chronicle notes, a rightwing group in Arizona, another of those super secret PACS that hides its donors, just dropped in $11 million  on the campaign. http://blog.sfgate.com/...

      •  And because our initiative mechanism... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RN4MERCY, ludlow

        has been largely taken over by the forces of wealth and power.  I think 4 of our ten initiatives this time are sponsored by single rich people or very small groups.  Stupid system.

        "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 Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:26:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why is there a yes on 32 ad right below this post? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ludlow

    What's up with that daily kos??? Just goes to show how much money these corp execs have to throw around.

    They've also started heavily saturating airwaves with a commercial that depicts two "union members" saying they are voting for prop 32 - AKA faux-financial-reform. These jerks are really trying to confuse voters, probably taking a page out of Frank Luntz playbook.

    Read between the lines, Cali! - VOTE NO ON 32!!!!

    •  Because, like many, this site is open... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RN4MERCY, ludlow

      to all sorts of political ads from across the spectrum.  On the one hand it confuses people.  On the other, it wastes some of their money where it will do the least good.

      "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 Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:27:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nurses are morally and socially responsible. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ludlow

    They have a duty to identify and retain control of the variables that sustain holistic, scientifically effective care in the exclusive interest of vulnerable patients and members of their community. When patients are admitted to hospitals, it's because they need nursing care.

    When the amount and type of care threatens the profitability of hospital corporate business interests, hospital bean counters begin leaning on providers and cutting staff to limit that care. When nurses stand up and raise their voices against this injustice, they often face retaliation and threats of termination for not being "team players."

    If you don't think hospitals and the yes-men they employ won't try to discharge you or shaft you to a lower level of poorly staffed "rest homes" while you still need a sophisticated level of survellance and nursing care to prevent complications, think again.

    Despite the economy, the aggregate profitability of hospitals have never been higher. The insatiable greed behind the proponents of Prop 32 is unconscionable. They know the public trusts a nurse to do the right thing.

    If nurses lose their ability to collectively use their resources  to protect patients and the community from the corporate bottom line by helping to secure passage of laws like the safe staffing law and others mentioned, it will be a travesty that hurts us all.

    Help save a life by protecting nurses ability to be your advocates. Vote "No" on Proposition 32!

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