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Feb. 10, 2012

California’s ‘Stop Special Interest Money Now Act’ Is a Deception Wearing Reform Rhetoric

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Public Citizen steadfastly opposes the deceptive “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act” on California’s November 2012 ballot. It is little more than an attack on labor masquerading as campaign finance reform.

The initiative pretends to reduce money in elections by prohibiting corporations and unions from making deductions from paychecks to raise money for political expenditures. The big problem here is that corporations do not take deductions from paychecks to finance their political activity. Instead, corporations dip directly into the corporate till for their political money, and this measure proposes nothing to stop that. It would just straddle a critical fundraising tool for unions.

In a vain effort to cover up its true objective – to stifle political activity by labor – the measure throws in a couple other sweeteners, such as banning direct corporate and union contributions to candidates and prohibiting contributions from government contractors. But don’t be swayed by these gestures. As an analyst from the Sacramento Bee noted, the initiative is the brainchild of Orange County Republicans, written by a law firm that represents the California Republican Party, and is largely bankrolled by wealthy Republicans.

See this initiative for what it is: a partisan attack against organized labor.

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