Backers of Proposition 32 have relentlessly promoted the fiction that the measure would stop special-interest money from flooding California political campaigns because it would stop unions and corporations from deducting money from members’ and employees’ paychecks for political funds.
That won’t make special-interest money disappear. All that will do is cripple unions’ ability to raise money for political purposes, and leave corporations essentially unfettered to spend what they want influencing elections. That's because corporations don’t usually raise political funds from employees. (And few hit up their employees for paycheck contributions.) Instead, corporations typically tap into their profits to fund political donations.
That misdirection is bad enough. Worse is that the campaign to push Proposition 32, the very measure that is supposed to stop special-interest money, has itself benefited from a flood of -- special-interest money.
And Monday we learned that the donors behind a whopping $11-million contribution that went partially to the yes-on-Proposition 32 campaign -- funneled through a nonprofit with the fuzzy name Americans for Responsible Leadership — are just a cadre of equally fuzzily named nonprofits. (And this was only revealed after Americans for Responsible Leadership initially fought fiercely in court to keep secret its own contributors.)