Opponents: Prop. 32 Is Attack On Unions
Proposition Is One Of 11 On November Ballot
Last Updated: 473 days ago
A proposition on the November ballot being billed as a way to cut down the influence of big money in Sacramento is being considered by some an attack on unions.
Good-government groups are joining forces with powerful public employee unions to oppose Proposition 32, which aims to curtail big money influence at the state Capitol.
The alliance calls the November ballot measure deceptive and does little to stop unlimited spending by independent groups called Super PACs.
Trudy Schafer of the League of Women Voters said, "Proposition 32 is not at all what it seems. It promises political reform, but it's really designed by its special interests to help themselves and harm their opponents."
This is the third attempt by Orange County Republicans to go after the influence of labor groups, but this time they've broadened the restrictions to include corporate money.
Prop 32 bans both corporations and labor unions from:
-- using payroll deductions for political purposes and contributing to state and local candidates -- it also prohibits government contractors from donating to officials who award contracts
The newly formed alliance, though, points out a loophole that allows what's called LLCs (limited liability companies) and trusts to donate because they're technically not corporations.
Jake Suski of the Yes on Proposition 32 campaign said, "There are no loopholes or exemptions in Proposition 32."
Prop. 32 supporters say their measure will change the way business is done in Sacramento.
The independent Fair Political Practices Commission found more than $1 billion have been spent by special interests to influence decisions over the last decade.
The California Teachers Association was at the top, doling out $211 million.
But the pharmaceutical industry, utilities and gas companies are also listed in the Top 15.
"Each of these reforms applies to unions. It applies to corporations and it makes no exceptions," said Suski.
Pressed further, though, Suski acknowledges some LLCs might fall outside the definition of a corporation.
"Whether an LLC is or isn't a corporation is up to the courts to decide, but Prop. 32 defines it very clearly as any corporation under state or federal law," said Suski.
This could be an expensive fight, as labor unions have already ponied up more than $8 million to fight the measure. Business interests have raised half that so far.
A total of 11 propositions will be on the November ballot for California voters.
-- Proposition 34, which would end the death penalty -- Proposition 36, which would change the "3 strikes" law -- Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered food