The Sacramento Bee 
When I am asked why I support Proposition 30 I think about Manual Arts High School, where I taught for more than 20 years. Manual Arts is an inner-city school in Los Angeles, serving the families who need public education the most. Even in the 1980s the dire effects of inadequate budgets had begun to erode what was once one of the finest education systems in the world. So like most teachers, I dipped into my own pocket to purchase classroom supplies when the school site supply budget ran out by midyear. Manual Arts was built in 1910. The building required more help than my pocket could take care of. More >>

California Budget Project

A new CBP Budget Brief examines Proposition 30, which will appear on the November 6 statewide ballot. Proposition 30 would increase personal income tax rates on very-high-income Californians for seven years and would raise the state's sales tax rate by one-quarter cent for four years. Revenues from Proposition 30 would boost funding for public schools and prevent deeper cuts to critical state programs. More >>

Los Angeles Times

A coalition of community groups is launching a grassroots effort to support Proposition 30 in hopes that voter turnout among young and minority voters will be a decisive factor in the November election.

Activists will hold rallies, go door-to-door and dial voters in what they called one of the largest get-out-the-vote efforts in California history. Immigrant groups will be campaigning in five languages -- including Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog –- and others plan to canvass college dormitories. More >>

Mercury News 

Rarely do ballot measures present as important or challenging a choice as Propositions 30 and 38 on the November ballot. Both would levy taxes, and both promise help for public schools, which most Californians realize are crucial to the state's economy. In fact California's financial stability may be at stake in this election. The wrong tax directing money in the wrong way could speed the state's decline. More >>

California Healthline

There is a hidden risk buried inside Proposition 30 that goes far beyond cuts to education, according to Hope Richardson, policy analyst for the California Budget Project. If the initiative doesn't pass on Nov. 6, she said, it's true that a series of cuts go into effect that would take billions of dollars out of education funding in California. "Most of the trigger cuts are to education," Richardson said. More >>

Rose Ann DeMoro

What happens if they have a free pass?
  • Reduced restrictions on pesticide use in the fields and looser standards for groundwater contaminants and refinery air emissions resulting in more outbreaks of e-coli in our food, increased hazardous waste in drinking water that sicken our children, and higher incidents of asthma and other pulmonary disease due to air pollution.
  • Fewer limits on spiraling health insurance premiums, hospital charges, and pharmaceutical prices, severely reduced scrutiny of unsafe hospitals and nursing homes practices, and sharp cuts in what patient care needs insurers must cover.
  • Relaxed workplace safety rules leading to more dangerous accidents resulting in death and permanent injuries, and reversal of standards workers have fought to achieve, including sick leave, overtime pay, guaranteed meal and rest breaks, health benefits, pensions, and protection from wage theft by unscrupulous employers.
  • Higher gas, utility, and cable prices, fewer protections for families devastated by wildfires or floods, and more dangerous, untested products in the stores.
  • An open door to privatization or further underfunding of basic public services we all count on, including schools, police and fire protection, libraries, and street and other infrastructure repairs.
 More >>

DeAnn McEwen, RN

I am a nurse and I know how wealth is valued over the health of my patients with today’s recreation of an aristocracy born of speculation and no sense of community values.

The San Francisco Chronicle today disclosed that corporations outspend unions by at least 3-1 to dominate elections and public policy in California, according to a nonpartisan group called California Common Sense.

Since 2000, business interests alone have poured an obscene $1.7 billion into California campaigns to sway candidate and initiative campaigns. Imagine a world in which that money might have gone to our schools, or healthcare, or creating jobs, and you get a sense how wildly corrupted our political system has become, aided by disgraceful court rulings that big money equals free speech.

That substantial current advantage is apparently not enough for the giant corporations, billionaires, and clandestine super political action committees that are funneling tens of millions of dollars into a campaign to pass the deceptive and dishonest Proposition 32 which would effectively end the ability of unions to compete at all in the electoral arena.  More >>

California Watch  (Founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting)

The Arizona group that dumped $11 million into California's ballot measure melee this week is led by a Republican activist who calls labor unions "the parasite that is killing our jobs." Robert Graham, a candidate for Arizona Republican Party chairman, heads Americans for Responsible Leadership, a little-known group that delivered $11 million to a committee fighting a tax increase on November's ballot and supporting a measure that would weaken the political clout of unions. The money will either go toward opposing Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure, or supporting Proposition 32, which would ban the use of payroll-deducted dues for political purposes. More >>

It purports to take aim at all special interests in politics but in reality targets unions.
Los Angeles Times

Proposition 32 claims to be a reform measure, a good-government proposal to rid state and local elections of the special-interest money that increasingly dominates in political races around the country.

But it isn't. In reality, Proposition 32 is a deceptive measure that would disproportionately weaken some special interests while leaving others essentially unaffected. Those who have seen its list of backers will not be surprised to learn that it would have a devastating effect on labor unions' political fundraising efforts and only a trivial impact on corporate spending. Voters should reject it. More >>

The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — The battle to curb labor’s political clout has moved from Wisconsin to California, where wealthy conservatives are championing a ballot measure that would bar unions from donating to candidates. Labor leaders describe it as the starkest threat they have faced in a year of nationwide challenges to diminish their once-formidable power. More >>


Former Rage Against the Machine Guitarist, Tom Morello aka The Night Watchman.
Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Tom Morrello aka The Nightwatchman, rages against Prop. 32.
Tom Morello has found a new target to rage against: Proposition 32. The former guitarist for Rage Against the Machine will join veteran activist super-group Crosby, Stills & Nash in Los Angeles next week to raise awareness and money to defeat the November ballot measure, which would make major changes to California's campaign finance system. More >>

by Matthew Fleischer on September 20, 2012 

Kochtopust Loves 32
Illustration by Lalo Alcaraz

On September 14 the Web exploded with news that billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch had donated $4 million in support of Proposition 32. A San Francisco Chronicle editorial noting the donation labeled the brothers “conservative ideologues” – a moniker often applied to the Kochs. This description, however, gives the Kochs far too much credit for their supposed philosophical purity—particularly as it relates to the Prop. 32 battle.

Despite their reputations as libertarian true believers, the Koch brothers are nothing if not practical businessmen, who have no trouble taking advantage of government subsidies when it bolsters their bottom line. (Koch Industries, for instance, was for years heavily invested in the $6 billion, federally subsidized ethanol industry.) That bottom line runs up and down the state of California, where Koch Industries has hundreds of millions of dollars invested through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific—a gypsum, pulp paper product and packaging company that operates 11 facilities in California with more than 1,100 employees and $190 million in annual payroll and benefit expenses. More >>

Proposition 32 on the Nov. 6 state ballot isn't what it appears to be. "Fraud" and "sham" are strong words, but they come to mind when talking about this initiative. For that reason, The Star recommends a "no" vote on Proposition 32.

This measure claims to be aimed at cleaning up politics by clamping new restrictions on contributions. In reality, it amounts to a cynical ploy because it ignores some of the biggest problems of money in politics while putting handcuffs only on the political opponents of some of the measure's biggest backers. What's worse, the proposed restrictions in Proposition 32 already have been rejected by California voters — twice. More >>

Contra Costa Times
Oakland Tribune
(Alameda Newspaper Group)

If Proposition 32 did what supporters claim -- limit all special-interest money from corrupting the political system -- we would race to endorse it. It doesn't. It is a deceptive sham that would magnify the influence of wealthy interests while shutting out those with competing views. 
Proponents call this initiative "paycheck protection" because it bars the collection of union dues from paychecks for political purposes, even if union members give permission. Voters rejected attempts to do this in 1998 and 2005.  More >>

Sacramento Bee - By the Editorial Board

Once again, Californians are being asked to diminish unions' power by restricting their ability to raise campaign money.
Once more, initiative promoters are trying to mislead voters by claiming to offer campaign finance reform. But just as they did in 1998 and 2005, voters should reject the deception by voting down Proposition 32, a transparent power grab that purports to "stop special interest money."

Los Angeles Times

A group with ties to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers has dropped $4 million to pass a ballot measure that would severely limit the political activity of labor unions.

The new committee has just one donation -- $4 million from the American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to promote “conservative and free-market principles.” 

The new committee, the California Future Fund for Free Markets, was opened Friday. More >>

Los Angeles Times

Proposition 32, on the November ballot, is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members. 

It was Lyndon Johnson who best understood that the key to political empowerment for the disenfranchised was to give them access to the electoral process. That's why he made passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 his top priority.

But it's doubtful he would think too kindly of a measure we might call the Rich Persons and Corporations Empowerment Act of 2012. During this election season, Californians undoubtedly will be hearing about it on TV and radio until their eardrums bleed. That's because it will be on the November ballot as Proposition 32, a wolf in sheep's clothing dressed up as the "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act." More >>

San Francisco Chronicle

Proposition 32 purports to be an even-handed attempt to reduce the influence of special interests in California. It is anything but balanced. The most telling way to assess the motive and the effect of this initiative is to follow the money.

The bulk of the financial backing for Prop. 32 has come from conservative ideologues who have made no secret of their desire to tamp down the clout of labor unions. A group linked to the billionaire Koch brothers just poured $4 million into a committee just formed to help pass Prop. 32. More >>