So what is California Proposition 32, and why does it matter if you’re from Wisconsin?
Proposition 32 is a “campaign finance reform” ballot initiative in California that seeks to ban corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates, contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them, and to ban automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics.
At face value, Proposition 32 seems like a step in the right direction towards getting special interest money out of political races, but while Proposition 32 would ban corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates in California, business Super PACs and independent expenditure committees would be exempt from Proposition 32’s controls, leaving those groups free to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect candidates of their choosing, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.
Here’s Peter Dreier explaining on BillMoyers.com why Proposition 32 would put labor unions at a tremendous disadvantage in California in the age of Citizens United.
While I support the idea of real campaign finance reform that removes the influence of special interest money from elections, that campaign finance reform needs to also address the issue of Super PACs and independent expenditure committees being able to spend unlimited amounts of money to assist candidates favorable to their interests. As it’s written, California Proposition 32 isn’t the kind of campaign finance reform that will give average citizens a stronger voice in elections – it will simply serve the interests of billionaires and big businesses.