Opposition to Proposition 32

Opposition to Proposition 32: Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute. (The “Paycheck Protection” Initiative) 2012

Be It Resolved: That the Sonoma State University Academic Senate oppose Proposition 32 on the California November 2012 ballot; and be it further

Resolved: That this resolution be distributed to the “No on Proposition 32” campaign, the Board of Trustees, campus presidents and campus senate chairs, the Statewide Academic Senate, the California Faculty Association, the governor and the California legislative leadership.

Proposition 32, The “Paycheck Protection” Initiative, on the California November ballot, would ban corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates, ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them and prohibit unions, corporations, or government contractors from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.  Proposition 32 permits other political expenditures to continue unrestricted, including corporate expenditures and expenditures by special interests from resources not limited by the payroll deduction prohibition. The California Legislative Analyst estimates that the approval of Proposition 32 will require implementation costs to state and local governments potentially exceeding $1 million annually.
Approval of the proposition would deny the collective bargaining representatives of CSU employees* and other California labor unions in both the public and private sector the ability to collect money from members through voluntary payroll deductions. Since payroll deductions are the primary way unions raise revenue, it is clear that Proposition 32 was designed to erode the ability of unions to advocate on behalf of their members, while leaving intact the ability of corporations, most of who do not use payroll deductions as a source of funds for political contributions, to use the vast resources at their disposal to influence public policy. 
Approval of Proposition 32 would effectively reduce the ability of ordinary citizens to participate in the broad expansion of democracy through the exercise of their voices in the public sphere. Such attempts to restrict public employees from expressing values and opinions via organized unions, corporations, or government contractors (whose necessary expenses are covered by payroll deductions) would result in a lessening of discussion and debate central to a democratic society.  Therefore the Sonoma State University Academic Senate joins the Academic Senate CSU, the Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges and nonpartisan political organizations such as the League of Women Voters and California Common Cause in opposition to Proposition 32.

*CSU Bargaining Units include Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), California Faculty Association (CFA), Academic Professionals of California (APC), State Employees Trades Council (SETC), Statewide University Police Association (SUPA), International Union of Operating Engineers, and UAW-Academic Student Employees.

Approved by the Senate