California voters appear poised to reject a November ballot measure that would ban political contributions by payroll deduction, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they opposed Proposition 32, which would eliminate the main fundraising tool of unions. Just 36 percent said they supported the measure.
Prop. 32 is not campaign finance reform, as its backers claim. Although it appears to rein in campaign contributions by both unions and corporations, the deceptive measure specifically limits the voice of union members while giving special exemptions to Wall Street hedge funds, real estate investors, insurance companies and other well-heeled special interests.
All of the primary funders of the measure would benefit personally from the exemptions in Proposition 32. The leading financial backers are associated with the ultraconservative Lincoln Club of Orange County, a driving force behind the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that led to the recent explosion of Super PACs onto the national political scene.
In recent weeks, the American Future Fund, a group known for spending millions of dollars on misleading TV ads, and linked to billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch, has contributed $4 million to the campaign. Shadowy out-of-state front groups like the AFF don’t swoop into California unless they have a specific agenda, in this case to reverse the public perception of Prop. 32.
Corporations already outspend unions 15-to-1 in politics. Prop. 32 would effectively clear the playing field of any opposition to big corporations’ agenda and open the way for future measures to strip away fair pay, secure retirement, and the right to belong to a union.
The League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and other non-partisan groups are urging voters to reject Prop. 32. Dozens of newspapers in California have strongly opposed Prop. 32.
Proposition 32 does nothing to limit special interest influence on politics while severely curtailing working people’s ability to stand up to powerful corporate interests. The result would be a devastating tilt in power to banks, CEOs and billionaires that would further undermine California’s middle class.
Vote NO on Prop. 32 to make sure the voice of workers is heard!