Take Two for November 5, 2012

Props To You: Prop 32 bars the use of employee funds for political means

Union members run elections phone bank to defeat Prop 32

Alice Walton

California Unions have mobilized tens of thousands of members to phone voters to urge a no vote on Prop 32.

For more details now on Prop 32 and its chances of passing, we're joined by KPCC's Kevin Ferguson

The measure bans unions and corporations from automatically taking money out of their employees paychecks and spending it on political campaigns. It would also forbid those groups from donating to state and local candidates. Finally, government contractors will be prevented from giving money to the politicians who helped them secure their jobs

If Proposition 32 passes, it'd be a change, but nothing seismic. Even though unions and corporations wouldn't be able to donate to candidates, they could still support state and local campaigns through Super PACs, and Prop 32 doesn't restrict the powers of other  wealthy interests like trade associations, individual donors, chambers of commerce. 

Prop 32 only limits contributions to state and local elections, so federal campaigns are outside the Prop's jurisdiction.

Charles Munger Jr. is the biggest donor — he's a physicist and son of Charlie Munger, the businessman and vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway. He's given over $36 million of his own money to support Prop 32, and if his name sounds familiar, that's because he's the brother of Molly Munger, the education activist behind proposition 38. The second biggest donor to the campaign is a group called Americans for Responsible Leadership, they're the Arizona nonprofit that until now was able to keep their fundraisers secret.

It's also gotten endorsements from The California Republican party, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association, former LA Mayor Richard Riordan. 

Democrats are against it along with progressive groups like Common Cause, and unions like the California Teacher's Association. Not good. 

Last Friday a Field Poll has Proposition 32 trailing by 16 points. The Public Policy Institute of California has it behind by just seven. It looks like the prop has an uphill battle. 


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