Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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STOP THE SPECIAL EXEMPTIONS ACT
NO ON 32 SPEAKER TRAINING
BANKRUPT CITIES? DON’T BLAME UNIONS
HBO’S “THE NEWSROOM” TAKES ON KOCH BROTHERS
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No on Prop. 32: Stop the Special Exemptions Act
Prop. 32 is not what it seems to be – and that’s a deliberate strategy on the part of supporters. If they can confuse enough people, they win. Voters need to take a closer look at the fine print and who’s behind it. Here are two key questions and answers about this November ballot initiative.
How would Prop. 32 impact me?
The attacks on working families don’t just come at the bargaining table – they come at us in the legislature, on the ballot, and in political campaigns. To maintain the jobs, wages, healthcare reforms, workplace safety, overtime pay, and other basic workplace rights we’ve worked for, we have to fight on all these fronts. Prop. 32 eliminates our ability to fight for fair laws and basic rights through the political process. That’s why Prop. 32 should concern us all, regardless of our political affiliation.
This measure is confusing. What does it actually do?
Prop. 32 is intentionally confusing. It claims both unions and corporations are banned from giving money to candidates or political parties, but that’s far from the truth. Here’s what it really does.
- Strictly bans union members from ever pooling our money together to support candidates who stand with workers or oppose those who don’t. Unions also would be prohibited from fighting anti-worker ballot initiatives that attempt to limit collective bargaining, gut pensions or ban prevailing wage and project labor agreements.
- Puts in place special exemptions for the initiative’s wealthy backers and corporate special interests to give freely to political campaigns. For example, many of California’s companies, such as insurance companies, Wall St. hedge funds, real estate investors, law firms and others, aren’t technically “corporations” under the law. These companies could still give money to candidates. CEOs, billionaires, and industry associations and political action committees (PACs) are also exempt.
- Prohibits the mechanism – payroll deduction – through which unions collect dues. While its backers claims both unions and corporations will be banned from using any funds collected through payroll deduction for politics, the reality is this provision applies to unions, which rely almost completely on payroll deductions. Corporations almost NEVER use payroll deduction for politics; they contribute from their profits, which are unrestricted. With the special exemptions in Prop. 32, corporate special interests will be able to spend with NO LIMITS on political campaigns through powerful Super PACs.
No on 32 Speaker Training
The No on 32 coalition is providing speaker training across California to educate supporters to talk about the campaign in their communities. Participants will learn all about Prop 32, picking up helpful hints and tips on how to present to a group, to handle tough questions, and to spread the word through social media and local actions.
- CHICO -Monday, August 13, 6-8 p.m., California Teachers Assoc., 1430 East Ave. #1, Chico, CA 95926
- REDDING - Thursday, August 16, 6-8 p.m., (UPEC) LiUNA Local 792, 1800 Park Marina Drive Redding, CA 96001
- IRVINE-Monday, August 20, 9-11 a.m., Irvine Teachers Assoc., 4940 Irvine Blvd. #205, Irvine, CA 92620
- ANAHEIM - Tuesday, August 21, 6-8 p.m., Anaheim Educator UniServ, 50 S. Anaheim Blvd., Suite 300, Anaheim, CA 92805-2961
- CORONA/NORCO- Wednesday, August 22, 6-8 p.m., Corona-Norco Teachers Assoc., 1189 Mountain Ave. #100, Norco, CA 92860
- SAN BERNARDINO - Thursday, August 23, 6-8 p.m., California Teachers Assoc., 430 E. Vanderbilt Way, San Bernardino CA 92408
Make a reservation to attend a training. For any questions, email Jordan Curley.
The No on 32 coalition is sponsored by educators, firefighters, school employees, healthcare providers, police officers, and labor organizations opposed to special exemptions from campaign finance rules for corporate special interests. Funding is provided in part by the California Teachers Association/Issues PAC and the California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issues Committee PAC.
Harold Meyerson: Bankrupt Cities? Don’t Blame Unions
The bankruptcies of Stockton and San Bernardino weren’t caused by unions, Washington Post op-ed columnist Harold Meyerson points out in a July 25 Los Angeles Times guest column titled “Bankrupt Cities? Don’t Blame Unions.” Contrary to popular opinion, the bankruptcies of these two cities were caused, he says, by big banks “peddling subprime mortgages to poorly paid workers.”
San Bernardino is a working-class town in the Inland Empire exurbs of Los Angeles, just as Stockton is a working-class town in the Central Valley exurbs of San Francisco. In the first half of the last decade, those exurbs saw a wave of home construction and sales to distinctly non-affluent buyers, whom banks enticed through subprime mortgages. And when the bubble burst, both cities experienced a record number of foreclosures and a sharp dip in employment, particularly in construction.
How bad was the bust? Of the 372 federally designated metropolitan areas in the United States, Stockton ranks first in foreclosures, while Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario ranks third.
Read the rest of Meyerson’s column.
Read an opinion piece from today’s Sacramento Bee on the same topic, authored by CalPERS Board of Administration President Rob Feckner.
HBO’s “The Newsroom” Takes on the Koch Brothers
by Chris Garlock, communications director, Washington D.C. Council, AFL-CIO
If The Wall Street Journal is complaining about it, "The Newsroom" must be doing something right for working people.
“For the second week in a row, Charles and David Koch were strafed by HBO’s show ‘The Newsroom,’ the one-hour drama about a fictional cable TV news show and its volatile anchorman,” huffed The Journal recently in a story titled “HBO’s ‘Newsroom’ Takes Aim at Koch Brothers.”
In recent 'Newsroom' episodes, anchor Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) has not only exposed the Koch brothers’ extensive funding of conservative causes and groups, from the Citizens United court case to Americans for Prosperity—which has fueled state-level attacks on unions—but has explicitly said that this massive infusion of money from corporations and the wealthy is a threat to our democracy.
No wonder The Wall Street Journal felt compelled to come to the aid of its billionaire pals.
A recent episode noted that Citizens United would have failed if Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had recused himself from the case. Many say Thomas should have recused himself from the case because of his ties to the Koch Brothers.
HBO’s “The Newsroom” airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 8/8/2012 |