Over the weekend, the LA Times' Michael Hiltzik wrote a column about Prop 32, and he did not pull any punches. After he described how LBJ would not appreciate the “Rich Persons and Corporations Empowerment Act of 2012,” he detailed some of the many deceptive points of this measure. But before going through that, he stops to put Prop 32 in its place in history:
In this state, we've come to expect ballot initiatives sponsored by business interests to be, essentially, frauds. But it's hard to conceive how one could be more fraudulent than Proposition 32. If there was any doubt left that the initiative process has been totally corrupted by big business and the wealthy, this should put it to rest for all time. (LA Times)
Why is it so fraudulent? Well, not only does he mention that the measure “bristles with loopholes for businesses and their wealthy backers” but he then goes on to highlight how this is really just another attempt at “paycheck deception.”
Proposition 32 is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members. Two previous attempts by the same gang failed at the ballot box, in 1998 and 2005. What's new about this effort is that it's dressed up as a broad reform aimed at “special interests,” and it's even more union-unfriendly than its predecessors.
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“When corporations can just write a check from their general treasury, the idea that this is a meaningful restriction is ridiculous,” says Richard L. Hasen, an election and campaign law expert at UC Irvine. The share of corporate political spending coming from employee payroll deductions “has got to be a drop in the bucket, and putting it in there is just a fig leaf.”
In truth, Prop 32 does what its supporters want it to do, silence working Californians while allowing SuperPAC Billionaires to keep on doing what they are doing. Or, as Hiltzik says it, they are trying to pull one over on us:
The message the perpetrators of Proposition 32 are sending to you, the California voter, is that they think you're stupid. Really, really stupid.
When you go to the voting booth or fill out your mail ballot this November, stop for a moment and ponder this question: Should I hand over my vote to people who think of me that way?
If you have a moment, share the article with your friends and family. This is one column that all California voters should read before they vote in November.