SAN FRANCISCO

Prop 32: Taking Special Interest Money Out Of Politics Or The Death Knell For California Unions?

FILE -- In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Lori Brown, an in-home health care worker from Whittier, joined dozens of others in
FILE -- In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Lori Brown, an in-home health care worker from Whittier, joined dozens of others in a protest against proposed state budget cuts to social services at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Supporters of Proposition 31, on the November ballot, say it will help put an end to California's chronic budget problems by changing the annual state budget process to a two-year cycle, and prohibit the Legislature from creating new expenditures of more than $25 million unless lawmakers can show where the money would come from, either through taxes or spending cuts. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

Prop 32 would ban unions and corporations for using any money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes.

However, when “unions and corporations,” really means “unions." The law would effectively outlaw the primary way labor groups engage in politics while doing little to alter political spending by corporations, which rarely use paycheck deductions to finance their political operations. Naturally, Democrats and friends of organized labor oppose the bill, while Republicans and union bashers oppose it.

California voters have twice rejected "paycheck protection” laws in 1998 and 2005.

The bill would also bar both unions and corporations for donating directly to candidates or ballot measures. However, in the post-Citizens United world of unlimited and anonymous spending by groups not directly affiliated any given campaign, this part of the law would do little to stop anyone from pushing their political agendas.

Additionally, Prop 32 would also ban companies competing for government contracts from contributing to officials in the position of approving those contracts.

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