Proposition 32 is a frontal assault on the ability of unions to participate in the political process, to the advantage of corporations, disguised as campaign finance reform. The Green Party unconditionally opposes it.
Proposition 32 is a remake of so-called "paycheck protection" measures rejected by voters in 1998 and 2005. Those propositions were clear attacks on labor's political fundraising. Proposition 32 tries to be clever, purporting to restrict corporate money as well, by prohibiting corporations and unions from making deductions from paychecks to finance their political activity.
But corporations don't take deductions from paychecks for political expenditures. Instead, they take directly from their corporate funds, and this measure proposes nothing to stop that.
By contrast, payroll-deducted contributions are unions' primary means of raising money from their members, which they can then use for political expenditures. For this reason, Proposition 32's effect would be to greatly weaken the political voice of unions in favor of the political voice of corporations.
Proposition 32 would also bar direct contributions to officeholders and candidates by corporations and unions (assuming labor could raise enough money if Proposition 32 passed.) While this may seem evenhanded, the effect would be unequal in practice, because big money players spend far more on initiatives and independent campaigns than on direct candidate donations.
The Green Party supports the goal of a politics based upon issues and voters' preferences, not special interest money - whatever the source.
The Green Party's alternative is the public financing of elections, combined with fair ballot access laws, free radio and television time on the public airwaves, and inclusion in all debates for all ballot-qualified candidates and parties.
The Green Party's alternative also involves bringing down the cost of campaigning by changing from our single-seat, winner-take-all state legislative districts, which require a great deal of money to win a majority of the vote one at a time, to a system of proportional representation from multi-seat districts, where less than a majority can win representation according to its numbers.
Proposition 32 by contrast would only make the existing big money corrupting system worse, by giving significant new, undue advantages to one set of interest groups over another - corporations over organized labor.
Corporations already have undue influence in our society because they have been given constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings, through Supreme Court created corporate personhood, which the Green Party rejects and supports a constitutional amendment to overturn. Proposition 32 would greatly accelerate this imbalance and further endanger our democracy. It must be rejected.
For these reasons, the Green Party recommends a 'no' vote on Proposition 32.
More on Proposition 32 from the California Official Voter Information Guide: