PROP 32: POLITICAL REFORMS OR SILENCING VOICES?

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By Thea Skinner

“This initiative is exclusively about the stranglehold that special interests have had over California’s political system,”—Jake Suski, Yes on 32

"It promises political reform but it's really designed by its special interest backers to help themselves and harm their opponents." – Trudy Schafer, California League of Women Voters

October 10, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Proposition 32, titled the “Paycheck Protection Initiative,” would restrict unions and corporations from deducting funds from workers’ paychecks to fund political campaigns, but would allow voluntary employee contributions. Prop 32 also prohibits unions and corporations from contributing to candidates and candidate-controlled committees or groups. Other kinds of political expenditures are still allowed.

Supporters of Prop 32 say it is needed because special interests control California government, so elected leaders listen more to special interests than to the voters. They state that Prop 32 would cut the ties between special interests and politicians - bringing California in line with federal law, which has adhered to the same restrictions for more than 100 years.

Supporters of Prop 32 include the California Republican Party, Citizens for California Reform, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, Waste Watchers and several city and country taxpayer organizations.

According to Jake Suski, a spokesperson for the yes campaign, "This initiative is exclusively about the stranglehold that special interests have had over California's political system and whether voters are ready to demand reform. Voters are demanding reform and change. They're willing to do something, to say no to special interests."

Opponents of Prop 32 say the measure places unfair restrictions on working people and their unions and that it won’t take money out of politics. Opponents also say the proposition would make it easier for political action committees to buy elections, because it was intentionally written for billionaires to have more power to write their own rules. 

Opponents of Prop 32 include The League of Women Voters, ACLU California, The California Federation of Teachers, California Professional Firefighters, Center for Policy Initiatives, San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, California Democratic Party and labor organizations.

Ron Lind, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, said, "The measure is a wolf in sheep's clothing designed to fool voters into approving a corporate power grab that will lead to even more corporate influence over our political system. What the backers won't say publicly is that they've written a giant loophole to allow for unlimited corporate spending on campaigns while furthering their real agenda of silencing the voices of middle-class workers and their unions."

For more information visit: Yes on Proposition 32: www.Yesprop32.com

No on Proposition 32: www.votenoon32.com. Also visit: www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov. Voting occurs Nov. 6.