Tag Archives: Paycheck Deception

Paycheck Deception Qualifies for November Ballot

Measure would cripple California’s left

by Brian Leubitz

Back in the Special election in 2005, Gov. Schwarzenegger and his cronies tossed a series of stink bombs onto the ballot.  But for today’s purposes we are looking directly at Prop 75, titled “Union Dues – Political Contributions.”  Basically, it required that unions get written permission, every year, before they can use union dues for political contributions.  In other words, it went right at the heart of the Democratic coalition.  That went down, but not before it picked up almost 47% of the vote.

Fast forward to today, where we have an even more odious measure, both in consequence and sheep’s clothing:

The fight over unions using members’ dues to fund political spending is headed back to the ballot next year.

A proposed initiative to block unions and corporations from using automatic payroll deductions for political purposes has made the cut to go in front of voters next November, the secretary of state announced today.. The measure, backed by GOP groups, also bans labor unions, corporations and, in some cases, contractors doing business with state government, from making contributions to candidate-controlled committees. (SacBee)

This is basically the same thing, except this time it completely eliminates the use of dues money for political campaigns.  This means candidates and initiatives.  No written permission will allow those expenditures if this passes, so this one is quite a bit more powerful.

But to cover that up a bit, they added in a bit about “corporations.”  You know, corporations won’t be able to spend money on candidates.  Sounds great, but in reality, corporations don’t really focus money on candidate-controlled committees these days anyway. They go straight to IEs, where they can choose how the money gets spent while giving unlimited sums.  

And when is the last time that corporate contributions came from payroll deductions.  The idea is simply ludicrous and a total non sequitur.  Corporate money comes from the corporate treasury itself, not from the employees.  This money is coming from shareholders, not employees, so payroll deductions are not even applicable in that case.

Expect to see much interest in this one.  Leaders from business organizations, even supposedly moderate groups, such as the the Bay Area Council, have jumped all over this.  They don’t like unions, and are happy to do whatever they can to get rid of their influence in politics.  And this will do exactly that.

CORRECTION: The Bay Area Council has come to no official position on this measure, rather they endorsed the Governor’s three measures in 2005. I apologize for my imprecision in the previous paragraph.

Slew of Measures Sent to Governor, Including Initiative Delay

Legislation waits for Governor’s yay or nay

by Brian Leubitz

During that long legislative session, the legislature sent on a number of notable bills to consider.  However, none will get the attention of SB202, which will push initiatives put on the ballot by signature back where they should have been in the first place: the general election.

When the idea came up a few weeks ago, CalBuzz did a nice look at the history of initiative timing.  Long story short, signature based initiatives were always on either a special election called by the governor or the general election.  The constitution did not envision a raft of them on various primary elections.

Of course, what Jerry Brown will do with this measure is never an easy question.  You would think that he would support this measure, but there are several measures that looked set for approval that met Brown’s veto stamp.  But, if it does go through, the two measures that have already qualified will stay on the June ballot.  However, I’m sure the measures in question, a term limits reform that switches all terms to 12 years and the tobacco tax for cancer, would rather be on a November ballot.

The other big news was that the Amazon deal was also approved by the Legislature.  The deal was hammered out a few days ago and remains basically unchanged since then.

In other legislation, Jerry will also see legislation on:

  • Stopping the sale of alcohol at grocery self-checkouts.
  • An extension of the film tax credit.
  • A regulatory review bill.
  • You can find more examples at the Bee’s Capitol Alert.

    Paycheck Deception Makes Its Way Back to the Streets

    Measure being distributed is worse than previous versions

    by Brian Leubitz

    Think back to the exciting days of the 2005 special election.  Calitics was just taking shape, and the Governor was pushing a series of right-wing reforms. One of these reforms, Prop 75, intended to block unions from using a members dues for political reasons without express permission every year. That one even got a critical editorial from the website of Reason Magazin. And back in 1998, voters rejected Prop 226 which did largely the same thing.

    But it’s back again.  Unlike Democrats, Republicans have the resources and the wherewithal to fight these battles over and over again. After all, it only takes one victory, even if it is after 4 losses to come out the winner.  And the measure that is now circulating is a nasty bit of work:

    A proposed initiative now in circulation called the Stop Special Interest Money Now Act by its supporters, would prohibit the use of payroll-deducted funds for political projects. It would still allow union members to voluntarily contribute money to political campaigns, if they authorized it in a written form to be submitted yearly.

    Some four million unionized workers could be affected by this initiative. Corporations and contractors would also be affected by the new regulations, a key difference from earlier versions. However, the proposed initiative does go further, additionally preventing the unions and corporations themselves from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate- controlled committees.  (Capitol Weekly)

    As noted, this one goes further than Prop 75 in two ways. It totally bans union (and corporate) contributions, but it also bans the use of any dues money at all for political contributions. Sure, you can give money to a PAC, but the soliciation of those funds would be difficult, if not impossible.  And the solicitation, even from willing members, would pretty much mean that the spending would be pretty small.

    The ideal world of campaign finance would be a pure publicly funded campaign system.  But since we aren’t anywhere near there, this measure would just bring a sledgehammer to one part of the system and devastate Democratic funding for a generation.  When somebody asks you about signing a “workers protection act” be wary and step far away from that clipboard.