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Subject:  Re: Who's Against Prop 32? Date:  10/8/2012  6:23 PM
Author:  TheJTrain Number:  12744 of 12907

That's quite a lot of marketing rah-rah and "these guys say this and those guys say that" without actually quoting anyone or anything other than (surprise surprise) union talking points, but did you really need to post four different times? I'll save my fellow citizens some clicking and just reply once.

The No On 32 campaign represents more than two million teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, school employees, and workers in the manufacturing, retail, construction, health care and other industries.

To be accurate, the No On 32 campaign represents the unions themselves, does it not, the organizations that actually have the power to use the payroll deductions the prop seeks to restrict? Those unions do represent their members to their employers, but to say that a campaign whose goal is the continuance of the ability of those unions to extract dues from its members and spend them on political campaign activity rather than on collective-bargaining & negotiation actually represents the members themselves is a different thing altogether.

Prop 32 supporters claim the law will limit big campaign spending from all sides. But the reality is that it would restrict everyday Californians from coming together to have a voice in elections while creating massive special interests for the same groups funding the campaign.

In what way would it restrict an everyday Californian's ability to participate? Any one of us could still go donate to a campaign, or a candidate, or (gasp!) a PAC. The truth is, it doesn't restrict everyday Californians from coming together, it restricts unions and corporations from *ordering* them to come together and deciding which causes they will support with their payroll-deducted funds.

Prop 32 exempts thousands of big businesses, which aren't technically "corporations," but rather "LLCs" or "real-estate trusts" or any other form of business structure. This includes hedge funds, big Wall Street firms, insurance companies, and thousands of other business entities.

That's actually the first thing I've seen that gave me pause. In re-reading what's there, I think this item has a point - it was stupid for the authors to actually use the word "corporation" and use only that word in describing which business entities Prop 32 would affect. I guess I'd have to agree that based on the text the only ones affected are corporations and LLCs and partnerships, etc. are not affected, and that's unfortunate.

Prop 32 creates special exemptions for secretive Super PACs

"Special exemptions"? So it mentions them and carves them out of the rest of the statute? Can you point that out to me, 'cause I don't see it. Here's the text:
How many PACs and Super PACs use payroll deduction anyway, any idea?

Prop 32 supporters claim their initiative is a legitimate reform, but their campaign is funded by some of the biggest special interest spenders in California - and the nation.

"Biggest spenders"? Do we need to revisit RustyMath's link to see how much MORE has been spent on defeating it than there had been when he first linked it? It was something on the order of 3 or 4 to 1 against, if I recall. So it seems that the issue here is the source of the spending, not the volume of it.

Prop 32 was written to limit the voice of union workers

Again, it does not limit the voice of union workers, they'll continue to have the same voice I have. What it seeks to limit is the voice of the unions themselves who can reach into the workers' paychecks and take what they want and spend it where they want. I don't expect staunch union-defenders to admit to seeing the distinction between the voice of the workers and the voice of the union itself, when it comes to political campaign activity, but it's there nonetheless.

The question I have, is this: if the political campaigns and causes that unions support with dues extracted from their members are just and righteous and commendable, why are they so afraid of returning some semblance of choice to their own members, allowing them to decide whether they *want* to join their voice and funds to those of the union as a whole? The Prop even specifically calls out that voluntary contributions by payroll deduction to the union or its PAC or to the company or its PAC would still be allowable. Why isn't the union comfortable with putting a little checkbox on a form that says, "Yes please, deduct $X to be routed to the PAC" on whatever sign-in or proxy or voting form they'd need to. Seems to me it'd be pretty magnanimous of them to go to their members and say, "We typically spend $X million on political campaign activity per year, and historically that's come out of your dues/payroll deductions. We recognize that not all of you may agree with every cause we support, so we'd like to give you the option of supporting us and those causes by affirming that we can continue to use those funds." If the voices of the workers are indeed as closely-aligned with the voice of the union as the No on 32 campaign pretends they are, then there should be minimal disruption or change in the funds available to them - and you'd permanently shut up guys like me who believe that choice in all things is good, and choice in politics is even better.

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