Last login: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Several points: 1) Unions are spending a lot of money opposing prop 32 because it bears the same relationship to curtailing their political participation as spending money on chemotherapy bears to cancer: spending money to fight cancer does not establish that cancer must be RIGHT in some way. 2) There are NO INVOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS to union political coffers: membership, which encompasses the union's political efforts, is voluntary; and, for members, the making of political contributions is voluntary--this is according to the US Supreme Court in the Hudson and Beck cases. 3) Prop 32 is not a fair measure; it is a political attack on unions.
Imagine Prop 32's opposite: non-profit corporations such as unions and environmental groups, many of which bump noses with corporate interests from time to time, advance a "Dividend Protection Initiative." The idea is that ALL corporations, both non-profit and for profit, are prohibited from making political contributions from monies that could otherwise be paid as dividends. The exception is that, if a dividend is paid, an individual shareholder may authorize all or part of his or her dividend to be used by the corporation for political purposes. Such authorization would required to be in writing, and would have effect for no more than a year.
Never mind that non-profits do not have profits or pay dividends; never mind that none of this would apply to independent expenditure committees, or SuperPacs.
I am a union member, and I hold mutual funds in my IRA, just like many people. I would oppose such a hypothetical "Dividend Protection Initiative" just as strongly as I oppose Prop 32.
October 10, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
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