Saturday, July 14, 2012

War on workers comes to CA in sheep's clothing

CA Teamsters register their brothers and sisters to vote earlier this week.
California's 'Stop Special Interest Money' Prop 32 would crush unions, but you wouldn't know that by the way it's presented.

It's disguised as "paycheck protection," which would stop unions from automatically deducting money from members' paychecks for political activity. They tried it in 1998 and in 2005 in California, and failed both times.

David Dayen at firedoglake explains how they've further dressed it up this time around: supporters claim it affects corporations and unions equally:
Nothing could be further from the truth, says the opposition to Prop 32. 
“The people who drafted this are the same people who twice before tried this and failed,” says Brian Brokaw, the communications director for No on 32. “They claim that it’s even-handed, in that it bans both unions and corporations from collecting political funds via payroll deductions. But corporations don’t use payroll deductions for political funds, they just use their own treasuries.”
Nice, hunh? But Dayen explains how it's even more insidious.
First, it bans direct political donations to state candidates from both corporations and unions. Neither side does a whole lot of that, as independent expenditures are more common in support of or opposition to individual candidates. But the definition of a “corporation” is made so narrow in the initiative language, granting a number of special exemptions to entities such as LLCs, limited partnerships, insurance companies, hedge funds, developers, Wall Street investment firms and more. “They carefully drafted this to exempt themselves,” Brokaw says. Any corporation could set up a shell company and continue the practice of direct political contributions.
Who's behind this nasty initiative? Billionaires who want to rig the system. Thomas Siebel, a huge Sarah Palin fan, is the biggest backer; insurance company executives and Wall Street investment managers are also contributing heavily.

If they succeed in California, they'll be coming to your state soon. Be very, very afraid.