As a Libertarian I support freedom – particularly free speech – and that is why, after much thought, I have decided to vote against Prop. 32.
Proposition 32 would ban unions and corporations from using automatic paycheck deductions to raise money for political purposes, according to the Sacramento Bee, which is opposing this ballot measure.
But hold on – if your goal is to take union and corporation money out of California politics, you should know that Prop. 32 does nothing to stop unions and corporations from spending millions on independent expenditures. And this measure won’t stop companies that are Limited Legal Corporations (LLCs), partnerships or trusts from spending money on political campaigns.
So what is Prop. 32 really all about? Let’s be honest – it is about silencing California’s unions.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am upset with the unions a lot of the time. The public employee unions in particularly have screwed our taxpayers with their early retirements and loaded pensions. And I do believe that our state legislators should take steps to make it easier for union members who disagree with how their dues are spent to opt out of political campaigns favored by their leaders. However silencing the unions is not a solution I am willing to support.
Here’s the CATO Institute’s take on campaign finance reform:
The largest corporate shareholders are pension funds and mutual funds. Predominantly, they comprise individual employees and investors of modest wealth. Prohibiting less affluent individuals from pooling resources is a recipe for tilting the playing field in favor of the rich. Currently, there are no limits on how much George Soros or Michael Bloomberg can spend of their own money on political speech. Why shouldn’t a few thousand others be able to match them by joining forces through an entity such as a corporation that expresses their policy preferences?
So who is backing Prop. 32? Click here to see for yourself. From what I can tell it looks like a bunch of Orange County Lincoln Club members. These are the same chaps who tried to pass similar measures in 1998 and 2005. But wait – this measure also has the support of the dreadful Koch brothers, according to an online source.
The rub is that every time one of these measures gets on the ballot it ends up riling up labor voters and then they go to the polls in huge numbers and not only do these kill these measures, they also end up electing a whole bunch of Democrats – and passing a lot of liberal initiatives.
Indeed this November it is very likely that labor voters will not only kill Prop. 32, they will also pass Prop. 30, the tax measure endorsed by California Governor Jerry Brown.
And in a particularly ironic backfire it looks like California’s Latino voters will prove crucial to the effort do defeat Prop. 32 and to pass Prop. 30. That’s right – the voters with the biggest bone to pick with California’s Republicans will slay their anti-union initiative and pass Prop. 30 to boot.
As a Libertarian my goal is to reduce the size and scope of government, at every level. Prop. 32 does nothing to advance that goal. In face campaign finance limits serve only to keep incumbents in power. We should get rid of them altogether, in my opinion.
In this age of the Internet the key to getting through to voters is online media. Limiting how much unions and corporations can give to campaigns won’t matter if we marshal the full power of the Internet to help the candidates who truly do want to reform politics in this country. The answer is not limiting free speech but encouraging more of it!
Click here to visit the No on Prop. 32 website.