Anti-union ballot measure is serious threat
The anti-union ballot measure headed for the ballot in California this November goes by a variety of deceptive names, such as “Paycheck Protection” and “Stop Special Interest Money Now.”
But its real purpose is to prevent unions from having any political influence. Unions call it the “Special Exemptions Act.” Why? Because it claims to be about “stopping special interests” but it actually gives special exemptions to corporate special interests and Super PACs. It would do nothing to fix what’s broken in Sacramento. Instead, it would give even more power to the wealthy and well-connected to influence elections, control government and weaken our state’s middle class.
The millionaire backers of this proposition claiming it would rein in campaign contributions by both unions and corporations. In fact, the deceptive wording of the initiative specifically limits the voice of union members like teachers, nurses, firefighters, police—and utility workers who keep the power on.
This one-sided measure would make our system even more imbalanced and it does nothing to stop the flow of money from the wealthy in politics.
Here’s what leading newspapers say about the deceptive measure:
“…dripping with cynicism” – Sacramento Bee
“…a phony veneer of fairness…one-sided and biased” – Long Beach Press Telegram
“…would harm their union opponents more than it would harm business interests”
– OC Register
“…would just expand unaccountable independent expenditure committees, the super-PACs”
– LA Times
- It was written to limit the voice of union workers and create special exemptions for corporate interests, giving the wealthy and well-connected even more political power to write their own set of rules.
- The measure exempts secretive Super PACs and corporate front groups, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen to support their candidates or defeat their enemies. The measure does nothing to prevent anonymous donors from spending unlimited amounts to influence elections.
- This measure is NOT campaign finance reform, as its backers claim. The wealthy supporters of this initiative created exemptions for Wall St. hedge funds, real estate investors, insurance companies and other well-heeled special interests allowing them to continue contributing directly to the coffers of political candidates.
- This measure would severely restrict union members in both the public and private sector from having a voice in our political process. As a result, teachers, nurses, firefighters, police and other everyday heroes would be unable to speak out on issues that matter to us all—like cuts to our schools and colleges, police and fire response times, patient safety and workplace protections.
- This measure would give corporate CEOs and their lobbyists even greater influence over our political system. Corporations already outspend unions 15-1 in politics. This measure would effectively clear the playing field of any opposition to big corporations’ agenda, which includes outsourcing jobs, gutting homeowner protections, slashing wages and health benefits and attacking retirement security.
- Non-partisan groups like the California League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, Public Citizen and Public Campaign, who advocate for policies that curb special interest influence, are urging voters to REJECT the measure. Public Citizen calls it “an attack on labor masquerading as campaign finance reform”. California Common Cause says it “will do more harm to California’s democracy than good.”
- The primary financial backers are retired CEOs and millionaires associated with the extreme right-wing Lincoln Club of Orange County. All of the primary funders of the measure would benefit personally from the exemptions created for certain companies and organizations. Despite the proponents’ claims that this initiative is geared toward “getting special interest money out of politics,” the truth is it’s a deceitful measure designed to silence working people while giving big CEOs and the very wealthy free rein to exert limitless influence on our political system.
This initiative is misleading, deceptive and full of consequences that hurt all of us. It does absolutely nothing to limit special interest influence on politics while severely curtailing working people’s ability to stand up to powerful corporate interests. The result would be a devastating tilt in power to big banks, corporate CEOs and billionaires that would further undermine California’s middle class.