We’re here today to talk about Prop 32. Has anyone heard of it? On the ballot it will be labeled “Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction” and you may hear it called “paycheck protection” We think you’ll agree that a better description is the “Special Exemptions Act.”
Let’s take a look at how elections are currently funded. This table shows the types of entities that can contribute to campaigns, where they get their money and any limitations.The Super PACs and Independent Expenditure committees are what we hear so much about these days because they are unlimited and are pumping millions and millions of dollars into elections. These areorganizations that promote or oppose candidates and ballot measures, but without many of the spending restrictions or transparency requirements that limit the campaigns themselves.Corporations and wealthy individuals can give unlimited amounts to Super PACs.Union workers do get to voluntarily opt in to have their payroll deductions used for political spending. >Compare hotel workers to hotel owner/developer and UT publisher Doug Manchester
Proponents claim that Prop 32 bans contributions from BOTH corporations and unions.*NOTE: READ actual language from the proposition. > Sounds pretty good, right?
But here’s what they don’t tell you:The ban has specific exemptions for corporate donations to Super PACs and Independent Expenditure committees.This is also direct language from the proposition. >READ and click for animation circling “remain unrestricted”So let’s go back to how elections are funded…
So, which of this funding would be affected by Prop 32? (Let the audience answer)>CLICK for red X -- That’s right. Only the voices of union members will be silenced. Only the voluntary payroll deductions are banned.Clearly, Prop 32 is not the reform it claims to be.
Unions operate similarly to your local Church or Town Council, or other organizations that collect voluntary donations from members. Union members annually choose to give money through payroll deductions so that their representatives can advocate on their behalf (ex. work safety). Corporations use their profit as their major source to fund elections. When you purchase a product at a store, that money may go to lobby for issues that are not in your interest. Prop 32 doesn’t regulate the use of corporate profits in political spending.Corporations already outspend unions 15 – 1 in political expenditures. Take a look at this chart…
This chart shows political spending in the US from 2000 to 2012. The blue line at the top is spending by business interests. The yellow line at the bottom is labor. The other two represent ideological and other organizations. As you can see, business interests already dominate politics in this country.Note: The numbers in this chart are available if you scroll LEFT of this slide. (Open Secrets.org, 2012)
> Discuss just a couple of these:Unions worked with CPI to pass San Diego’s Living Wage Ordinance – which applies primarily to nonunion workers and helps more families live self-sufficiently, so the local economy benefits.CPI is working –with union allies –for the PVPO, which will protect all neighborhoods from the impacts of blighted foreclosures.The Homeowner Bill of Rights ensures that if we are mortgaging our home or facing foreclosure that we aren’t stuck in limbo.Union members advocated to make sure that our college grads can maintain their health insurance until age 26 and additionally they made sure that we can get coverage even if we have a pre-existing condition. They also advocate for better access to insurance for uncovered workers.Here’s a few more things unions have advocated for:Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, providing an increase in the federal minimum wage. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, a comprehensive federal law ensuring safety in the workplace. Workers' compensation laws, giving workers injured on the job medical coverage and compensation for lost time. Mine safety laws strengthening mine safety standards and protecting the rights of mine workers.The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, creating the 40-hour work week and the first minimum wage. The Social Security Act of 1935, providing benefits to unemployed and retired workers. Side notes on Homeowner’s Bill of Rights:The Homeowner Bill of Rights prohibits a series of inherently unfair bank practices that have needlessly forced thousands of Californians into foreclosure. The law restricts dual-track foreclosures, where a lender forecloses on a borrower despite being in discussions over a loan modification to save the home. It also guarantees struggling homeowners a single point of contact at their lender with knowledge of their loan and direct access to decision makers, and imposes civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents.
Union advocacy historically has helped to improve our quality of life.Why? Because unions represent regular people who are just like the rest of us.Examples:Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, providing an increase in the federal minimum wage. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, a comprehensive federal law ensuring safety in the workplace. Workers' compensation laws, giving workers injured on the job medical coverage and compensation for lost time. Mine safety laws strengthening mine safety standards and protecting the rights of mine workers.The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, creating the 40-hour work week and the first minimum wage. The Social Security Act of 1935, providing benefits to unemployed and retired workers.
Prop 32 takes away the ability of teachers, nurses, firefighters and millions of other working women and men to speak out on issues that matter to us all—like cuts to our schools and colleges, police and fire response times, workplace safety, consumer protections, homeowner rights and unfair corporate tax giveaways. But who stands to gain? Hedge funds, billionaires and all of these types of corporations will still be able to spend freely if Prop 32 passes.Not surprisingly, this is exactly who is funding Prop 32.
Think about it. If Prop 32 really did what proponents say it does, and eliminated corporate spending in elections, wouldn’t we see a lot of corporate spending right now to defeat it? But the opposite is true.Many of the financial backers of Prop 32 also made large donations to two previous similar initiatives, in 1998 and 2005, which failed. Some specific contributors include:$350,000 from Larry T. Smith (Real Estate Investor)$300,000 from William Bloomfield (developer)$100,000 from Timothy Draper (venture capitalist)$120,000 from Charles MungerJr. (wealthy heir)You can look up the list of contributors on the Secretary of State’s website or on OpenSecrets.org
When these billionaires and giant corporations pour money into politics, they don’t have YOUR interests in mind. Their goal is to pass laws and policies that will boost their bottom line – and that’s often counter to the public interest.Monsanto provides an example this year. On the same ballot this November is Prop 37, which is a consumer protection measure to require labeling that tells us whether foods are genetically modified – so that when you buy groceries or put food in your child’s life, you know what’s in it. Monsanto and other giant agribusinesses have already spent more than $25 million to defeat this simple food labeling measure in California.
The political goals of corporate interests often have included policies and laws to remove regulations that protect the public, such as… (read from slide)In 2010, Mercury Insurance advocated for a measure that would increase car insurance rates for anyone who ever had a break in their insurance. This includes if you leave the country, if you are a vet or a student studying without the need for a car. It was actually the California Nurses Association that cared enough to advocate AGAINST this measure and it was defeated by a narrow margin.The Koch Brothers work on a regular basis to limit regulations on hazardous chemicals, so that they can continue to profit from their chemical production. This would be another loophole for organizations like WalMart that are seeking exemptions in the permitting process.Other examples: Hotel workers put their pay checks together to advocate for workers rights. However, hotelier and news paper owner, Douglas Manchester already has a larger voice then them with the acquisition ofWorkers Comp – Chamber of Commerce advocates against it.
Prop 37Lead Paint
This slide is hidden but you may want to re-iterate the details mentioned here.Not only is this part of the initiative a “solution looking for a problem” – since members can already opt out of their monies going towards politics based on state and federal lawsThis also adds in a new roadblock so that if a member wanted to contribute to a political campaign with their union – they couldn’t do it through payroll deduction and would have to write a check or use a credit card or give cash. And they would have to do it annually and sign a form saying they authorize the use of the money for politics.Corporate shareholders would not be required to authorize use of corporate funds for political purposes.
League of Women Voters & Common Cause – two organizations that have advocated for years to get money out of politics – are both who against Prop 32. They know it’s a fraud.
We at CPI believe reducing the influence of money in politics is one of the most important issues of our time. But Prop 32 won’t do that. It’s a giant step backwards, because it would allow even greater spending by the special interests that already spend the most – while silencing opposing voices.And finally, is this the right way to make law? – by tricking voters are into passing something that is not what it seems?
What can you do?Everybody knows 5 people who vote – or should vote! Tell them how important it is to defeat this deceptive measure.
Revised prop 32 presentation 09 10-2012
The SPECIAL EXEMPTIONS Act No on Prop 32www.VoteNoOn32.com
How Elections are Funded Campaign Contributor Source of Funding Details Can raise unlimited Super PAC/ PAC/ Independent Individuals, Corporations, sums, independent of Expenditure (IE) Committee Unions candidates Corporate Profit, Can write checks to Corporation Unlimited Super PACs Can write checks to Payroll Deductions: Super PACs, Voluntary contribution Limited to workers’ Union from workers’ paychecks voluntary donations Limited amounts to candidates, PACS and Individual Personal funds parties.www.VoteNoOn32.com
What they will tell you… Prop 32 claims to ban contributions to candidates from both corporations and unions...www.VoteNoOn32.com
What they won’t tell you…It includes special exemptions forcorporate donations to Super PACs andIndependent Expenditure Committeeswww.VoteNoOn32.com
Election funding with Prop 32 Campaign Contributor Source of Funding Details Can raise unlimited Super PAC/ PAC/ Independent Individuals, Corporations, sums, independent of Expenditure (IE) Committee Unions candidates Corporate Profit, Can write checks to Corporation Unlimited Super PACs Can write checks to Payroll Deductions: Super PACs, Voluntary contribution Limited to workers’ Union from workers’ paychecks voluntary donations Limited amounts to candidates, PACS and Individual Personal funds parties.www.VoteNoOn32.com
Targeting only unions is unfair • Union members annually choose whether to voluntarily donate through payroll deductions for political advocacy on their behalf. • Corporations use their profits to fund elections, without giving any of us who contribute to the profits a choice. • Corporations already outspend unions 15 – 1 in political expenditures.www.VoteNoOn32.com
Corporate interests already dominate political spending Business interests dominate, with an overall advantage over organized labor of about 15-to-1.www.VoteNoOn32.com
Why should you care if you’re not in a union?• Unions help advocate on behalf of the whole community: • Living Wage • Property Value Protection Ordinance • Homeowner Bill of Rights • Workplace safety regulations • Healthcare
If the Special Exemptions Act were to pass, it would effectively silence the voice of working men and women while giving Super PACs, corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen free rein to exert even more influence over our political system. And that hurts all of us.www.VoteNoOn32.com
Who Stands to Gain?Who is Prohibited: Who is Exempted from• Teachers the Prohibition:• Nurses • Hedge Funds• Firefighters • Billionaires• Police Officers • Limited Partnerships• Other working men and • Limited Liability women who unions Partnerships (LLPs) represent • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) • Business Trustswww.VoteNoOn32.com
Who is behind Prop 32? • Wealthy Corporate Interests • Wall Street Execs • Real Estate Developers • Many of the same financial backers of two similar initiatives that were rejected by voters.www.VoteNoOn32.com
Who can spend without limits?www.VoteNoOn32.com
What do corporations and billionaires want for their political spending? With the special exemptions in Prop 32, corporations will be unrestricted in spending on things like: • Gutting air and water safety • Rolling back worker rights • Removing consumer protectionswww.VoteNoOn32.com
Here’s what others say about Prop 32: “…it would gut only one sides ability to play in politics” – Sacramento Bee “…a phony veneer of fairness…one-sided and biased” – Long Beach Press Telegram “…would just expand unaccountable independent expenditure committees and the super-PACs” – LA Times League of Women Voters and Common Cause: OPPOSEDwww.VoteNoOn32.com
Prop 32 Summary: Will not take money out of politics. Allows Super PACs and Independent Expenditure Committees to continue spending without limit. Is not real reform. Real political reform treats all sides equally. Is unbalanced and unfair as it targets union members’ contributions but not corporate profit.www.VoteNoOn32.com
The Truth about Prop 32 It’s deceptive. It’s not the reform it pretends to be. It’s unfair. It silences one side – the working people – while increasing the power of corporate special interests to influence politics.www.VoteNoOn32.com
ACTION: 32 • Vote No on Prop 32. • Sign a commitment card today • Spread the word. • Can you commit to telling 5 people? • What other groups should get this presentation? • Volunteer.www.VoteNoOn32.com
For More Information: www.VoteNoOn32.com NRodriguez@onlineCPI.org (619) 584-5744 x62www.VoteNoOn32.com