Proposition 30 is a Good Deal For Trades Workers; Proposition 32 is A Vile Fraud


Bob Balgenorth 2012 Last month in this space, I wrote about Proposition 32, the initiative placed on the November ballot by corporate billionaires to silence workers’ voices and destroy our ability to protect our interests in the political arena.

Proposition 32 is so harmful, and defeating it is so important, that I’m going to talk about it some more this month, and also call your attention to another measure, Proposition 30, that Building Trades workers should help pass.

I could fill 10 columns this size with reasons why every working man and woman in California should vote against Proposition 32.  It is dishonest; it claims to restrict all “special interests,” but is filled with special exemptions for big business. It silences workers by prohibiting their unions from contributing to political campaigns on their behalf via payroll deduction, while imposing no meaningful limits on corporations, which don’t use payroll deductions.  It is the first half of a one-two punch: to first silence our voice, and then come after our jobs, wages, and retirements.

It is, as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik opined recently, “A fraud to end all frauds.” Mr. Hiltzik’s August 19 column is the best analysis of Proposition 32, and the best argument against it, written to date. It is, he wrote, not a meaningful reform, but “nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members.”

If you haven’t read it yet, please do. You can find it on our website here:  Then forward it along to as many California voters as you can.

Proposition 32 is a malicious, vile fraud aimed squarely at harming California workers, and people need to understand that before they vote.

As tempting as it is to spend another entire column urging the defeat of Proposition 32, there is actually another measure on the ballot that should also be of great interest to workers in the Trades. This is Proposition 30, which we need to pass.

Proposition 30 is Governor Jerry Brown’s tax measure. It provides a temporary quarter-cent sales tax increase, and a modest income tax increase on the wealthiest Californians. These increases would generate an estimated $6.9 billion per year, enough to avoid further draconian cuts to education and public safety, and to help solve the state’s chronic ongoing budget deficits that threaten important job-creating public works projects.

Building Trades workers should view Proposition 30 as a job-creating measure. A strong economy can’t occur without adequately funded public services. As Governor Brown said in his last state of the state speech, “Putting our fiscal house in order is good stewardship and helps us regain the trust of the people. It also builds confidence in California as a place to invest and realize one’s dreams.”

The same corporate billionaires who want to silence us by passing Proposition 32 will be throwing money into the campaign to defeat Proposition 30. Their agenda of concentrating all the wealth and power into the upper privileged class doesn’t benefit from modest tax increases and greater public investment.  As always, we’ll have to fight hard and with unity to prevail against them.

We have an opportunity in November to help ourselves and our state. We can help ease the state’s budget crisis and create a better job-creation climate in California by passing Proposition 30.

And, we can protect our most basic rights to be heard and fight for our interests in the political arena by sending the vile Proposition 32 to the defeat it richly deserves. Union members must carry the message. We must reach out to all of our relatives, friends, acquaintances and colleagues to make sure none of them are fooled. Make sure they know how bad Proposition 32 really is.

Will you do your part?







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