-By Warner Todd Huston
Still getting caught up on the various news from the way the election affected unions. Michigan was a bright spot on the scene because the union measures there failed. But not every state saw a defeat for unions. Prop 32 in California, for instance, was defeated.
Proposition 32 was a measure that would have prevented unions from using dues money on political spending without the consent of their members. It would also have prevented corporations from doing the same thing.
More importantly, Prop 32 would have stopped political spending garnered by automatic deductions of dues payments from worker’s paychecks. This would have forced unions to solicit donations for political spending directly from workers.
The measure would also have prevented unions from donating directly to candidates in state (but not federal) elections.
However, Prop 32 failed at the ballot box. It was not overwhelming beaten, but it was beaten nonetheless. The final count was 56.1 percent in favor to 43.9 percent against. It was no landslide against, especially in a left-leaning California.
“By soundly rejecting Proposition 32, the voters of our state said no to a deceptive initiative written by wealthy special interests, for wealthy special interests,” Lou Paulson, chairman of the No on Prop 32 campaign, said in a statement.
Of course, this wasn’t a first time effort for a proposition like this. Similar measures went down in defeat in 1998 and 2005.
It is reported that unions spent about $75 million to defeat Prop 32, outspending the pro-business forces in favor of the measure.
I suppose in a state now controlled by a single party, it is sort of surprising that this measure wasn’t defeated by a greater margin.
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