Wealthy corporate interests are once again coming after working people in an effort to silence our voice and clear the field of any opposition to their agenda. This latest attack comes in the form of a ballot initiative, Proposition 32, that corporate backers say is about special interests, but in fact is designed to strip middle class workers from having a voice in politics. Prop 32 has qualified to appear on the November 2012 general election ballot.
Proponents of the initiative claim it would rein in campaign contributions by both unions and corporations, but in fact, the deceptive wording of Prop 32 specifically targets union members, while a big loophole leaves corporate campaign contributions essentially unscathed and unchecked.
".. the deceptive wording of Prop 32 specifically targets union members, while a big loophole leaves corporate campaign contributions essentially unscathed and unchecked."
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Exposing Prop 32 - Special Exemptions Act
Prop 32 was written to limit the voice of union workers and create special exemptions for corporate interests, giving the wealthy and well-connected even more political power to write their own set of rules.
Prop 32 exempts secretive Super PACs and corporate front groups, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen to support their candidates or defeat their enemies. The measure does nothing to prevent anonymous donors from spending unlimited amounts to influence elections.
Prop 32 is NOT campaign finance reform, as its backers claim. The wealthy supporters of this initiative created exemptions for Wall St. hedge funds, real estate investors, insurance companies and other well-heeled special interests allowing them to continue contributing directly to the coffers of political candidates.
Prop 32 would severely restrict union members in both the public and private sector from having a voice in our political process. As a result, teachers, nurses, firefighters, police and other everyday heroes would be unable to speak out on issues that matter to us all—like cuts to our schools and colleges, police and fire response times, patient safety and workplace protections.
This measure would give corporate CEOs and their lobbyists even greater influence over our political system. Corporations already outspend unions 15-1 in politics. This measure would effectively clear the playing field of any opposition to big corporations’ agenda, which includes outsourcing jobs, gutting homeowner protections, slashing wages and health benefits and attacking retirement security.
Non-partisan groups like the California League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, Public Citizen and Public Campaign, who advocate for policies that curb special interest influence, are urging voters to REJECT Prop 32.Public Citizen calls it “an attack on labor masquerading as campaign finance reform”. California Common Cause says it “will do more harm to California's democracy than good.”
The primary financial backers are retired CEOs and millionaires associated with the extreme right-wing Lincoln Club of Orange County. All of the primary funders of the measure would benefit personally from the exemptions created for certain companies and organizations.
“…would harm their union opponents more than it would harm business interests” – OC Register
“…would just expand unaccountable independent expenditure committees, the super-PACs” – LA Times
Prop 32 Benefits Wealthy Corporations, Hurts Working Families
Despite the proponents’ claims that this initiative is geared toward “getting special interest money out of politics,” the truth is it’s a deceitful measure designed to silence plumbers, construction workers, teachers, nurses, firefighters and other working people while giving big corporations and CEOs free rein to exert limitless influence on our political system.
This initiative is misleading, deceptive and full of consequences that hurt all working families. It does absolutely nothing to limit corporate influence on politics while severely curtailing working people’s ability to have a voice. The result would be a devastating tilt in power to the corporate elite that would further undermine our state’s middle class.
On Monday, the No on Prop 32 campaign kickoff press conference featured four organizational leaders representing a few of the many opponents to the measure.
Trudy Shafer of the League of Women Voters pointed out that Prop 32 “is not what it seems, and it will hurt everyday Californians.” Derek Cressman of California Common Cause pointed out that the measure exempts a “whole host of other companies and major political donors.”