Many conservatives are excited by California’s Proposition 32, and indeed the legislation has much to recommend it. Under Proposition 32, any money that unions spent on politics would have to come from voluntary contributions, rather than automatic dues deductions from members’ paychecks. This would be especially welcome in the public sector, where unions essentially transfer taxpayer money directly into their own coffers — and then use that money to elect the officials who “negotiate” with them. The law would also prevent government contractors from donating to the politicians who award their contracts.
However, these are not the only changes Prop 32 makes. In an effort to make the measure appeal to a mostly left-leaning state, the law’s drafters made serious compromises — compromises that make Prop 32 a net negative for liberty. Specifically, the measure would ban all donations to local and state candidates from unions and corporations. This is an unacceptable limit on political participation, and we regretfully urge our Golden State readers to vote no when they head to the polls in November.