The state's powerful labor groups have anxiously witnessed union rights and benefits being gutted in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Now, unions in California are girding for an all-out war over a ballot initiative that would curb their ability to raise political cash.
If the November measure passes, unions would have to get written permission from their members every year to use their dues for political purposes.
In California, that's a fight that could eclipse a presidential ballot filled with other intriguing and controversial measures, including Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to hike taxes temporarily.
"This could change the balance of power long after the governor's taxes are expired," said Thad Kousser, a political-science professor at UC San Diego. "Defeating this has got to be the top goal of labor. If they don't, they could become almost extinct in California politics." #afpca
WHAT THE INITIATIVE WOULD DO
A November ballot measure, which proponents call the Stop Special Interest Money Now Act, would:Source: California Secretary of State's Office
Ban corporations and labor unions from donating directly to political candidates.
Prohibit government contractors from contributing money to government officials who award them contracts.
and labor unions from using payroll deductions for political purposes. Such deductions would have to be authorized in writing every year.