Looks like the tricksters in the California Republican Party have found another way to kill off campaign contributions from unions — Proposition 32, on a statewide ballot near you this coming November. Here’s Dante Atkins at DailyKos with the goods (my emphases and comments):
This measure, proponents say, would ban both corporate [but see definition] and union contributions for most political purposes and make citizens reign supreme. But progressives here have taken to calling it the “special exemptions act.”
The first clue that something is seriously wrong with this measure is, simply put, who put it on the ballot. The measure was submitted to the secretary of state’s office by Ashlee Titus and Tom Hiltachk, who happen to be of counsel for the law firm that also includes Charles Bell, lead counsel for the California Republican Party. You might ask why the lawyers for the Republican Party would put a measure on the ballot that would theoretically leave small donors as the backbone of political spending in California. It’s a good question, until you look at the fine print.
Atkins does just that — looks at the fine print. Turns out that while unions are indeed banned from contributing, corporate-like entities are not. So GE, for example, can’t contribute. But:
Sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, LLPs, hedge funds and a whole bunch of other types of businesses do not fall under the definition of a corporation as written in the measure. These businesses will still be able to contribute directly to campaign committees, but labor unions will be barred.
Atkins calls this “the biggest threat you haven’t heard of.” Do click over and read all of the atrocities. Prop 32 is chock full of union-restricting provisions. For example, while corporations and all those corporate-like entities will be allowed to contribute to SuperPACs, unions will be effectively barred by provisions that forbid unions from using paycheck deductions politically. From the measure:
§85151 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and this Title, no corporation, labor union, public employee labor union, government contractor, or government employer shall deduct from an employee’s wages, earnings, or compensation any amount of money to be used for political purposes.
Corporations give corporate money straight from the treasury (psst: it’s where the money is). Unions are the ones collecting political donations via paycheck deductions. Gotcha.
ACTION OPPORTUNITY — Credo is on this and has joined with the No on 32 campaign:
— CREDO Mobile (@CREDOMobile) October 5, 2012
You can help:
■ Care to volunteer? Here’s a link. Go for it. Your time and energy are badly needed.
■ Learn more here — the video makes this issue especially clear.
■ Twitter user? RT the Credo tweet above, or craft your own. Other media links at the site.
One month to go, folks. For California this is big. Please do help out if you can.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius