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Unions: Prop 32 Ban on Political Donations Weighted Heavily Against Labor

By Rachel Dornhelm

Ed Kinchley with San Francisco SEIU Chapter 1021 is working the phone bank to encourage members to vote no on Prop. 32. (Photo: Rachel Dornhelm)

Ed Kinchley with San Francisco SEIU Chapter 1021 is working the phone bank to encourage members to vote no on Prop. 32. (Photo: Rachel Dornhelm)

I’m looking squarely at the Capitol building in Sacramento. The grass is manicured and green — the building sparkling white. But to Jake Suski, special interest money in politics keeps the Capitol anything but clean.

“Lawmakers — particularly during legislative seasons — host just a number of fundraisers. I think one day during this August they had 17 different fundraisers in one day,” he tells me.

Suski is the spokesman for Proposition 32. The measure’s backers say they simply want to get rid of special interest money in the Capitol. “Corporate lobbyists ask for their little pet projects to be passed and tell them which bills they don’t like,” Suski says, “and union lobbyists do the same thing on their little pet projects.”

Suski says Prop. 32 would accomplish its goal it in three steps.

  1.  Banning unions and corporations from giving directly to politicians
  2.  Prohibiting government contractors from political giving
  3.  Making it illegal to deduct money from paychecks to use in political campaigns Continue reading

Proposition 32: ‘Paycheck Protection’ or Unfair Limitation on Union Influence?

It’s been on the ballot twice before in the last 14 years — and rejected by voters — but the issue is back again. Proposition 32 would stop unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. The “pro” camp calls this “paycheck protection,” while those opposed say the measure limits union’s ability to fund political campaigns while leaving corporate influence largely unchecked.

This past Friday, KQED’s This Week in Northern California examined the measure. Watch the clip: