With campaign spending at record highs for the presidential election and many congressional districts in 2012, California’s Proposition 32 appears to be a move to reform state elections. But it seems to fall short of sentiments expressed by much of the voting public this year to stop what many believe to be wasteful and/or devious spending in efforts to buy legislation favorable to a particular cause, candidate, or corporate interest.
Proponents for this measure say that these fundamental areas are addressed by this measure: prohibiting campaign monies presently taken by payroll deduction by unions; and prohibiting monies from corporations and contractors.
Opponents say the proposal only limits unions and some spending by corporations, but does not limit the huge sums of money, adverse influence and spending on campaigns by corporations and special interest groups.
Opponents to the proposition also say that current law already protects workers from being forced to join a union or paying fees to unions for politics, and government contractors that donate to campaigns are already restricted as well.
This measure would in no way limit the currently limitless amount of funds contributed by Super-PACs (Political Action Committees) and corporations, which are exempted from this proposal as outlined by the legislative analyst’s summary, opponent say.
The measure purports to also prohibit direct or indirect contributions to candidates or candidate-controlled committees by corporations and would also prohibit government contractors from making contributions to elected officers or corporate-officer controlled political action committees. These contributions are usually disguised by corporations, special interests and others to fit into the independent expenditure exemption category. All profits, resources and corporate monies not controlled by corporate officers would be allowed.
An independent expenditure is one of the primary loop holes used by corporations and special interests.
Individual contributions, and those monies spent by Super Pacs often fall into this category
This independent expenditure category exemption encompasses nearly all spending that is not directly coordinated by a campaign or candidate. One person, a group of people or any entity such as a corporation or special interest group can spend millions of dollars to support a candidate as long as it is not coordinated with a campaign.
Opponents say that this proposition favors corporations and actually hampers unions and their rank and file.