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Another look at Prop 32 - Follow the Money

Original post made by Joe, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Sep 4, 2012

Like all of you I've been getting the calls and seeing the ads that beat "Yes on 30 no on 32" into our skulls. Finally digging a bit deeper, I realize that the two props have nothing to do with each other, and that 32 isn't the devil that its opponents say it is. 32 stops the funding of union-directed political contributions via payroll deduction. Union members can still contribute to their unions' political war chests, and unions are free to campaign for and spend their members' dollars for or against any candidate or issue they choose. But the funding of these activities via payroll deduction would be stopped.

Myself, I like that. I like spending my own money, how I choose, and when I choose.

The dollars flowing into both sides in the debate is even more fascinating. Look at the Prop 32 webpage from PBS station KCET in Los Angeles

Web Link

and you'll find that close to $28M have been spent opposing Prop 32, and of that $28M, $9.1M - about a third of the total - has come from the California Teachers' Union. A little math here (thanks to a teacher, by the way). The CTU has 325,000 members, so the $9.1M works out to $28 per teacher.

I wonder if this $28 per teacher was handled through payroll deduction?

Comments (15)

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph Goebbels
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Yes, it's important to let corporations be responsible for the lion's share of political contributions, even if it means taking shareholders' profits and using them without their approval. Anything to make America's politicians more beholden to corporations is fine by me.

Like this comment
Posted by Thanks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2012 at 12:20 am

I think it's important that employee union dues used for political purposes reflect the employees views. The only way to ensure that happens is by voting yes on Prop 32.

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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Nice to see John Burton posting as Joseph Goebbels above. He dared compare R's to Nazi's and now he had to leave the dem convention...go figure. Surprising, since his comments reflect mainstream (extremist, to the rest of us) dems views.

Regarding 32, anything that further reduces unions influence in politics is a good thing. It's a further castration of the growingly impotent union leaders and their blind allegiance to democrat politicians (and vice versa).

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Posted by Yes 32 . voluntary funds
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hey public employee Goebbels, STOCK HOLDERS freely SELL their stocks every second of every day ! ! ! ! Very UNlike being a taxpayer held prisoner by public union employees, and the politicians they own.
Any person in such desperate shape that they are forced to join a union, should NOT be FORCED to paying $100.oo a month to union bosses to use for POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS to candidates the worker hates. Union should not have the right to withdraw political $$ from paychecks....EVEN voluntarily...because of the PRESSURE and THREATS to do it.
Free people should be able to vote and contribute voluntarily to those we choose.
What's sad, is that even with 32, the union thugs 'call' on the employees to be one of them politically, and threaten no promotions, etc.
Even 'voluntary' contributions to a union political fund should be anonymous.
I KNOW of a Pleasanton homeowner public union member who had a candidate yard sign for a day, and the thugs said it had to be was for a candidate who couldn't be bought.

Like this comment
Posted by James McCannon
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Non-union jobs benefit indirectly from union shops with bargained contracts. Non-union jobs know that they must compete with union jobs for valuable employees. Forget about the few who make headlines spiking pensions which is truly few and far between and realize the many positive changes that unions have made in this country. From child labor laws, minimum wage, healthcare, pensions, overtime, the weekend, etc. Voting yes on prop 32 is saying yes that you want to hear one viewpoint from one side of the fence. If it passes that is all you will hear. Unions will not be able to politically be able to stand up for their workers. Hard working men and women from jobs in the trades, police/fire, teachers, hospital workers, etc.

If you want two sides to the issues vote no on prop 32. Don't be fooled by the billionaire CEOS from pharmaceutical, and oil companies. Vote no and send them the message you won't be fooled and want to hear both sides!

Like this comment
Posted by Yes 32 . voluntary funds
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Groan... Oh pleeze! No oil or pharmaceutical co cares about the manipulation taking place in Pleasanton, Stockton, or Sacramento. This about the right of all INDIVIDUALS to participate freely without threats regarding their personal political wishes, activities, and secret voting.. EVERY UNION MEMBER has been given those same rights that have been violated BY unions, stealing from their members, and threatening individuals right to political participation.
Even MORE than interferring with 'doing' is the theft Prop 32 would prevent....taking the roughly $100. for political activities and contributions chosen BY UNION BOSSES....not the member from whom the money is taken,,,not only forced, but to candidates and issues AGAINST the wishes of the WORKER !! What an insane practice to 'defend'!!
HOW can you possibly say UNIONS would be prevented from "standing up for their workers"...simply NOT TRUE !!!First you, boss or lowly worker, apparently want to give YOUR money to the bosses to do their will. GREAT !Freedom's wonderful !There will be others intimidated into doing the same. There will be plenty of money! But those individuals that don't wish to make political contributions (not of their choosing OR none at all) MUST be given the freedom to exercise their individual rights guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, (alto violated by unions in recent years).

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph Goebbels
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Apparently it is difficult for some people to recognize that union leadership tends to be democratically elected by its union membership. If union members don't like the way leaders spend their union dues, they are free to wage a campaign to elect alternative leaders. It really is as simple as that.

What, so the disgruntled and churlish ones who think union leadership should be supporting Republican candidates find themselves in a (extreme) minority? That's what happens in any democracy. The fruitcakes find themselves on the outside looking in.

Now, if the disgruntled fruitcake is so incensed by his union's use of dues, perhaps it's time to hit the road! There are a lot of "right-to-work" states where you can ply your "trade" - be it security guard, janitor, or pour drinks - for $4.50 an hour. Have at it!

Like this comment
Posted by Yes 32 . voluntary funds
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Individuals should have the right to provide special needs for a family member,if they choose, and not contribute a PENNY toward ANY political issues or candidates. Thug that you are, you call an independent thinker a ""disgruntled FRUITCAKE". If there are 20 of your group of 100, they have the rights as Americans to not be victimized and forced to contribute to all the horrid partisan CA propositions that you either oppose or's theft. Your thuggish 'fruitcake' remark shows you are UNABLE to be decent to your fellow workers...which demonstrates what I'm saying about this attitude that even makes prop 32 NECESSARY for workers to safely get back this constitutional right that unions have taken from them.

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Posted by Joseph Goebbels
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Typical fruitcake response. All soft and squishy and smelling of overly ripe rot. If workers don't want to work for a unionized company, they don't have to. Like I say, there's probably a "right-to-work" bartender's job awaiting someone in central Alabama. Knock yourself out. That $4.50 job pouring drinks awaits you.

In a democracy, majority elected representatives determine how much revenue to collect from citizens and how to spend it. This is true of unions as well. They are democratic institutions. Nothing thuggish about it. All you are doing is petulant hand-wringing. Without unions to counterbalance corporate power, we're reduced to fascism. Apparently that doesn't bother you. I'd bet you'd find some toe-picking cousins of yours in Alabam that would share your pathetic cries of victimization. How sad.

Like this comment
Posted by James McCannon
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm

YES 32,

Locals are operated no different than how our government is democratically elected with terms, voting, etc. They are elected positions where majority rules. Why would you want it any other way?

If a member for some religious/personal/political reason wishes not to contribute to the political action committee they can opt out. They have that right. However, they must contribute that amount of money to a non-religous political non-profit charity which are pre-designated. This process is state law.

These individuals are not forced to contribute to the political process whatsoever.

To be clear. Everyone knows the expectation before they take any job. California is a closed shop state. That will not change. If you don't like it, you are not forced to take the job. Period.

Like this comment
Posted by Yes 32 . voluntary funds
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2012 at 12:13 am

Goebbels, you don't seem to make a case for forced political 'donations' to people you hate. Why is that a condition of working. Belonging to a union has nothing to do with pay confiscation as a condition of working.

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph Goebbels
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 8, 2012 at 6:17 am

Did you read James McCannon's response? Did you understand it? Did you read my above response? Did you understand it? Why do you persist in ignoring the facts?

I guess the very idea of democracy is just too intolerable for some, and too confusing for others. Sorry, but I'll not turn myself into a Pol Sci 100 textbook for the benefit of the ignorant. Your whines have been refuted. Time for you to bark up another tree.

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Posted by Putin
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Goebbels...what an appropriate screen name. Union "democracy" and elections are on par with what they have in Russia. Nice try.

I'm always thankful for the disclaimer at the end of political ads that state the funding sources. Anything supported by public employee unions is an easy "no" vote.

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph Goebbels
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Well, isn't that a strange brew? Would you mind explaining how union democracy in the US is on a par with Russia?

Also, I am of German ancestry, not Russian as you seem to be suggesting. Do not at all appreciate you disparaging my name.

Always willing to learn from others. Please do tell how democratic unions are like Russia. I'm sure you have something of great interest for us all.

Like this comment
Posted by Tick
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

1) If you go to the Secretary of State's page the definition of Corporation is clear. It does not cover LLC, Partnerships, Insurance Co., Super PACs, individual billionaires, and multi-millionaire CEOs to name a few. Corporations don’t use payroll deductions for political purpose. That’s like saying, “we’re going to crack down on counterfeiting by collecting all the 3 dollar bills printed.” Sounds good however, counterfeiters don’t print 3 dollar bills.
2) It doesn’t stop any corporation from using unlimited profits to contribute to state or local campaigns. And the Supreme Court already confirmed that Corporations have the same rights as individuals and therefore, can contribute unlimited funds to any campaign. Corporations already outspend unions 15-1.
3) Labor rights aren’t etched in stone. They were won through politics and collective bargaining. So if you’re the 99% that have to work for a living say, “good bye” to, vacation leave, health insurance, 8 hour work day, minimum wage, work place health and safety laws, overtime pay, unemployment, child labor laws, meal breaks, nurse patient ratios just to name a few.

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