Opinion

Prop. 32: Voter Empowerment vs. Union-Bashing

Prop. 32: Voter Empowerment vs. Union-Bashing

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Prop. 32 has divided education advocates. 

 

Wandering around Politifest last month, I ran into Jim Groth, a board member for the California Teachers Association.

Groth and I talked briefly about the local school board race, and he admitted the CTA hasn’t been particularly involved this year. He said the union is instead focusing all of its energy — and its money — fighting Proposition 32.

The measure would ban unions from using automatically withdrawn member contributions for political purposes. Unions would be required to get written permission from their members before spending dues on political campaigns.

“Defeating this has got to be the top goal of labor. If they don’t, they could become almost extinct in California politics.” University of California political science professor Thad Kousser told the San Jose Mercury News

Labor groups, including the CTA, have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to block the measure, which they see as an affront on their rights as political pressure groups. Prop. 32 mirrors other high-profile efforts to curb labor’s influence elsewhere in the country, including the massive battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin last year.

We asked the groups supporting and opposing Prop. 32 to weigh in and make their case.

From the Yes on Prop. 32 camp, we have a submission from T.J. Zane, president and CEO of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. Here’s a snippet:

Prop. 32 would help block the flow of money that government employee unions, corporations and special interest lobbyists use to control politicians. That means the people we elect would be more accountable to — wait for it — voters.

And I approached Groth from the No on Prop. 32 camp. Here’s a snippet from his piece:

Proposition 32 on November’s ballot claims to be about campaign finance reform, but it’s really a gross deception financed by wealthy corporate special interests. The rich and powerful donors behind this scheme want to weaken the political voices of working people and the middle class so they can write their own rules.

Check out both of the submissions and let us know what you think in the comments sections.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.

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Will Carless

Will Carless

Will Carless is the former head of investigations at Voice of San Diego. He currently lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he is a freelance foreign correspondent and occasional contributor to VOSD. You can reach him at will.carless.work@gmail.com.

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10 comments
Eduardo Stephano
Eduardo Stephano subscriber

Prop 32 is a corporate power grab, nothing more, nothing less.

zeekzeus
zeekzeus

Prop 32 is a corporate power grab, nothing more, nothing less.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Unions serve and help themselves. Even on the off chance unions did some good 100 years ago, those days are gone a lifetime ago. Now unions are just a drag on the economy and on the common worker, and a source of corruption in politics.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Unions serve and help themselves. Even on the off chance unions did some good 100 years ago, those days are gone a lifetime ago. Now unions are just a drag on the economy and on the common worker, and a source of corruption in politics.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Is the LoWV really nonpartisan or is it a left leaning democratic support organization? Sounds like a good fact check.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Is the LoWV really nonpartisan or is it a left leaning democratic support organization? Sounds like a good fact check.

Bob Spaulding
Bob Spaulding subscribermember

The League of Women Voters should be renamed the League of Liberal Women Voters. It USED to be nonpartisan and dedicated to good government, but is now a mouthpiece for all things liberal. My wife and I were involved with it long ago when it was impartial and fair; now it is a joke. Ms. Waggoner, can you name one issue the League has pushed that is even mildly conservative?

EconProf
EconProf

The League of Women Voters should be renamed the League of Liberal Women Voters. It USED to be nonpartisan and dedicated to good government, but is now a mouthpiece for all things liberal. My wife and I were involved with it long ago when it was impartial and fair; now it is a joke. Ms. Waggoner, can you name one issue the League has pushed that is even mildly conservative?