'Restricts' vs 'prohibits': does one word make a difference on Prop 32? Judge says yes

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What's in a word? According to one state Superior Court judge, a lot. The wording on the state ballot description for Proposition 32 was changed by one word Tuesday after supporters of the measure called the original phrasing "misleading."

Proposition 32, which aims to block financial contributions from “special interests" to candidates, was originally said in its ballot description to "restrict" unions and businesses from giving directly to a campaign.

But proponents say Prop 32 bans those contributions outright, and convinced a Sacramento Superior Court Judge to change the word “restricts” to “prohibits.”

Prop 32 also bans the practice of raising political cash through payroll deductions.

Labor unions have already raised nearly $18 million to defeat the measure, calling it “a deceptive proposition stuffed with special exemptions” for businesses in statewide radio ads.

Union advocates say, if passed, Proposition 32 would undermine their influence in California politics.

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