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Proposition 32, a measure appearing on the November statewide ballot, is not what it seems. While it claims to be about “stopping special interests” the measure actually gives special exemptions to corporate special interests and Super PACs. It would do nothing to fix what’s broken in Sacramento. Instead, Prop 32 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 misleadingly call it “The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act,” 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 our local teachers and nurses and the firefighters and police that keep us safe.

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:

"...a fraud to end all frauds" - Michael Hiltzik, LA Times

“…dripping with cynicism” – Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee

"...a sham... wouldn't even begin to do what its backers promise" - Ventura County Star

"...would magnify the influence of wealthy interests while shutting out many middle-class voters" - San Jose Mercury News

“…a phony veneer of fairness…one-sided and biased” – Tom Elias, Long Beach Press Telegram

"...a deceptive sham...would make a bad system worse" - Contra Costa Times

“…would just expand unaccountable independent expenditure committees, the super-PACs” – George Skelton, LA Times

The Facts

  • Prop 32 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.
  • Prop 32 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.
  • Prop 32 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.
  • Prop 32 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 Prop 32. 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 Prop 32 is 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.

Prop 32 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.


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