The fraud that is Calfornia's Proposition 32, by @DavidOAtkins

The fraud that is Proposition 32

by David Atkins

One of the most cynical ploys in the November 2012 election cycle is California's Proposition 32. Here's what Ballotpedia says about it:

Proposition 32, the "Paycheck Protection" Initiative, is on the November 6, 2012 ballot in California as an initiated state statute.[1]

If approved, Proposition 32 will:
Ban both corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates.
Ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them.
Ban automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics.
Sounds pretty good, right? Except here's the catch: it only bans contributions from organizations that take contributions from payroll deductions. Which essentially means that only labor unions would be denied the ability to contribute, while for-profit corporations would be almost completely unhindered.

It's being funded by major conservative power players, but is being advertised as a progressive push to get money out of politics, riding on the anti-Citizens United wave. A particularly disgusting bit of cynicism. Sheila Kuehl explains:

Currently, employers are allowed or required to withhold money from an employee’s paycheck under limited circumstances, such as Social Security, income taxes, medical plans and charitable deductions authorized by the employee. In addition, about two and a half million California workers either pay dues or an amount called a “fair share” fee (paid by non-union members who are benefiting from a collective bargaining agreement) to unions. In many cases, employers automatically deduct these dues and fees from employees’ paychecks and pass them on to the union.

A number of unions use a portion of these dues and fees for political contributions and independent expenditures or to communicate about political races with their members. Non-members who pay fair share fees are allowed to opt out of this portion.

For the most part, corporations and businesses do not deduct money from their employees’ payroll to pay for political expenditures, but, rather, donate to candidates through political action committees and other means out of their profit or other corporate funds. Prop. 32 bans only the use of monies collected by payroll deduction, the primary way unions, but not others, aggregate political money, from being used for all “political purposes”, including direct contributions to candidates or measures, independent expenditure committees, member communications related to campaigns or other expenditures meant to influence voters.
If you live in California, don't be fooled. There's nothing progressive about Proposition 32. Vote no. And while most Hullabaloo readers in California probably know the progressive position on these initiatives, you can find the California Democratic Party's endorsements on the initiatives here.