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PORTSIDE  October 2012, Week 4

PORTSIDE October 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Prop. 32: Labor Fights New Attack on Unions and the 99% in California

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 23:05:57 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (210 lines)

Prop. 32: Labor Fights New Attack on Unions and the 99% in
California

by Paul Krehbiel

September 24 , 2012

Labor's Edge - Views from the California Labor Movement
California Labor Federation

http://www.calaborfed.org/index.php/site/page/prop._32_labor_fights_new_attack_on_unions_and_the_99_in_california

Labor and community groups are gearing up to defeat a measure
that is on the November ballot in California aimed at
crippling the ability of unions to financially support
election campaigns. Proposition 32, put on the ballot by
wealthy conservative corporate leaders, claims it will stop
"special interest" groups from funding politics.  Yet, Prop 32
targets only unions, and not corporations.

Proposition 32 sounds fair on the surface.  It calls for
prohibiting corporations and unions from deducting money from
workers' income for political campaigns. But only unions
deduct money from its members' income, in the form of union
dues, which is the only source of income for most unions.  A
small portion of union dues are donated to political
campaigns. Corporations don't raise money by deducting money
from their employees' pay, so Proposition 32 has no impact on
corporations.

Backers of Proposition 32 are deceptively trying to play on
the public's anger over real special interest money flooding
into election campaigns, money that comes primarily from
corporate sources.

Today, corporations, unions and anyone else can give unlimited
amounts of money to political campaigns and do it anonymously,
thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.
The AFL-CIO has come out strongly against Citizens United --
as has President Obama -- and has called for fair election
financing.

One high profile recent example of how corporate money
corrupts politics was the recall election in Wisconsin of
Scott Walker, the Tea Party Republican Governor.  Walker
gained notoriety by ramming a bill through the Republican-
dominated Wisconsin Legislature in early 2011 that stripped
bargaining rights from unionized public workers, sparking a
firestorm of worker and community protests and a petition for
his recall.

In the 2012 recall election, Walker raised $30.5 million, most
of it from corporate sources. His Democratic opponent, Tom
Barrett, raised $3.9 million, much of it from working people
through their unions. Walker outspent Barrett almost 8-1, and
won 53% to 46%. The right-wing corporate forces that control
the Republican Party want to duplicate this huge discrepancy
in political spending in every race in the country. As of
early August 2012, the top five contributors to Republicans --
all conservatives from corporations -- gave $75 million. The
top five contributors to Democrats -- all moderates or
liberals from corporations -- gave $12 million.

A handfull of billionaires want to buy elections to put their
political representatives in office.  Their goal is to silence
the 99.9%, so theirs will be the only voice heard in elections
and politics.

What would that mean?  The International Longshore and
Warehouse Union tells us Proposition 32 is:

    designed to weaken workers and unions and give corporate
    CEOs even more power to boost their profits by cutting
    jobs, eliminating retirement security and reducing wages.

The ILWU doesn't fight just for its own members.  It, and all
other unions, fight for everyone. For more than 75 years,
unions have been the driving force in passing and protecting
our most important social programs, including Social Security,
Medicare, unemployment insurance, funding for public schools
and health care, and many others. Unions are the last line of
defense for the 99%.

A chief proponent of Proposition 32 (and Citizens United) is
the Lincoln Club of Orange County, a right-wing business
organization that began in the early 1960's promoting Richard
Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The Lincoln Club was founded by the
heads of Fluor Corporation, a Fortune 500 construction
company; Beckman Instruments, maker of lab equipment; and
Knotts Berry Farm, a multi-million dollar amusement park.
Current Lincoln Club president, Robert Loewen, is a corporate
lawyer for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, whose major clients
include Merrill Lynch, the corrupt financial investment firm
that helped crash the economy in 2008, and then was absorbed
by Bank of American with bailout money from taxpayers.

Lincoln Club chair emeritus Michael Capaldi continues to
spread the lie about Proposition 32, saying it will "deal a
blow to corporate and union power together." This false
message is flooding the airways now in our state.  If Prop. 32
passes in California it will spread across the country.

The labor movement, Democratic Party, and a host of community
allies are fighting back, speaking at events, meeting with co-
workers and neighbors, precinct-walking, phone-banking,
distributing flyers, bringing the NO on 32 message to big
public gatherings like the recent Labor Day Parade in Los
Angeles, and running ads of their own to tell the truth about
Proposition 32.

[Paul Krehbiel, a union auto parts worker in the late 1960's,
was the chief negotiator for over 5,000 Registered Nurses and
members of SEIU in Los Angeles County in the 2000's, and an
organizer of union Stewards Councils at major county
hospitals.]

[Many thanks to Paul Krehbiel for sending this to Portside.]

==========

Learn more about Prop 32.
http://www.californialabor.org/index.php/site/page/1252/

==

Prop 32 in the News

Newspaper editorials:

*  LA Times: "No on Proposition 32: It purports to take aim at
special interests in politics but in reality targets unions"
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-end-prop32-20121003,0,7326255.story

*  Sacramento Bee editorial: "Prop 32 power play deserves a
'no' vote"
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/23/4843939/endorsements-proposition-32-power.html

*  Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune (Bay Area News Group)
editorial: "Proposition 32 is deceptive and should be
rejected"
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21583886/contra-costa-times-editorial-proposition-32-is-deceptive

*  San Franclsco Chronicle editorial: "Prop. 32 an unbalanced
'reform' plan"
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Prop-32-an-unbalanced-reform-plan-3870098.php

*  Ventura County Star editorial: "Prop. 32 a sham, deserves
to lose in Nov. 6 election"
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/30/editorial-prop-32-a-sham-deserves-to-lose-in-nov/

*  San Jose Mercury News editorial: "Deceptive Prop. 32 would
worsen campaign finance mess"
http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_21444739/mercury-news-editorial-deceptive-prop-32-would-worsen

*  La Opinion editorial: "No en la ProposiciĆ³n 32"
http://www.laopinion.com/article/20120930/IMPORT01/309309957

*  Chico News & Review editorial: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
http://www.newsreview.com/chico/wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/content?oid=7507572

*  Woodland Daily Democrat editorial: "Prop. 32 would worsen
state's financing mess"
http://www.dailydemocrat.com/editorial/ci_21470715/prop-32-would-worsen-states-financing-mess

*  Santa Cruz Sentinel: "Prop. 32: Unfair, and flawed Measure
would ban using payroll deductions for political purposes"
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/opinion/ci_21609421/prop-32-unfair-and-flawed-measure-would-ban

*  Merced Sun Star editorial: "Prop 32 goes after unions, not
big money"
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/10/04/2574918/our-view-prop-32-goes-after-unions.html

*  Lompoc Record: "Slogging through the ballot"
http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/editorial/slogging-through-the-ballot/article_2cc67176-11cb-11e2-b8fb-0019bb2963f4.html

*  Press Democract editorial: "No on Prop. 32: A deceptive
anti-union reform plan"
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20121009/OPINION/121009540/1010/sports?Title=PD-Editorial-No-on-Prop-32-A-deceptive-anti-union-reform-plan

*  Stockton Record: "Prop. 32 isn't what it seems"
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121015/A_OPINION01/210150302/-1/A_OPINION

*  Marin Independent Journal: "IJ recommendations on state
Propositions 30-33"
http://www.marinij.com/opinion/ci_21743902/editorial-ij-recommendations-state-propositions-30-35

*  Fresno Bee: "Prop. 32 is not the reform that California
requires"
http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/13/3027106/editorial-prop-32-is-not-the-reform.html

==========

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