Proposition 32 is the most important political reform measure to be placed before California voters in decades. If passed, it would surpass Governor Scott Walker’s successful ballot measure in Wisconsin last year. Moreover, it would be the “shot heard ‘round the political world” as it would fundamentally change the way special interests are required to operate in the realm of California politics.
Today, we live under a corrupt system of government in California. Public employee pensions and benefits are wreaking fiscal havoc on the Golden State and have already begun to bankrupt a growing number of municipalities.
Nevertheless, our elected officials continue to fund those lavish unsustainable benefits because the special interests line their pockets with political contributions. Watchdog groups such as Maplight.org reveal that 79% of donors to California state legislators now live outside of the district, thus representing the special interest over the constituents’ interests. According to the San Jose Mercury News, approximately 40 of legislative bills in 2010 were written by lobbyists and outside interests – and those bills were twice as likely to become law.
That would change under Proposition 32, which prohibits government contractors from making contributions to the very elected officials who approve their contracts. It bars corporations, unions, and government employers from collecting political contributions through involuntary payroll deduction. And it requires employers simply “ask first” before taking an employee’s hard-earned money and spending it on political contributions on the employee’s behalf, on issues they don’t support.