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What's Wrong With the Stop Special Interest Money Now Act?

Friday, 02 November 2012 10:47 By Laura Flanders, Moyers & Company | Interview and Video

Media

When Californians go to the polls on November 6, they’ll be asked to vote yes or no on Proposition 32, also known as the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act.” Sounds great, right? But our guest Peter Dreier says the name belies the true intent of this bill.

“It’s a fraud,” Dreier says. “It’s really a corporate power grab being called campaign finance reform…. And it’s an attempt to put labor unions in a straightjacket.”

Proposition 32 would prohibit both corporations and unions from contributing money to political campaigns, and would ban the collection of “political funds” via payroll deduction from both union members and corporate employees. Catch #1: Payroll deductions are unions’ only source of political funds. Corporations don’t typically use them, instead spending from their corporate treasuries. And while union members can opt out of payroll deductions for political purposes, shareholders are often kept in the dark about corporate political spending. Catch #2: The act is full of loopholes. LLCs, partnerships and real estate trusts are all exempt. Catch #3: It only bans donations to political campaigns — but as we all know, the big bucks now often go to super PACs rather than directly to the candidates.

“It’s very self conscious,” Dreier says.  ”They did this very purposefully to allow billionaire right wingers and insurance companies and hedge funds to continue to fund their causes in California. And if this wins in California, this will have ripple effects throughout the whole country.”

Dreier also talks about his new book The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. (Full disclosure: Bill Moyers is one of the hundred.)

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Laura Flanders

Best-selling author and broadcaster Laura Flanders is the "strong local economies" fellow at Yes! Magazine and a contributing writer to The Nation. She hosts "The Laura Flanders Show" on GRITtv, an independent source for in-depth interviews with forward thinking people. Sign up to receive the latest at GRITtv.org or facebook.com/grittv. On Twitter, she's @GRITlaura.


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What's Wrong With the Stop Special Interest Money Now Act?

Friday, 02 November 2012 10:47 By Laura Flanders, Moyers & Company | Interview and Video

Media

When Californians go to the polls on November 6, they’ll be asked to vote yes or no on Proposition 32, also known as the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act.” Sounds great, right? But our guest Peter Dreier says the name belies the true intent of this bill.

“It’s a fraud,” Dreier says. “It’s really a corporate power grab being called campaign finance reform…. And it’s an attempt to put labor unions in a straightjacket.”

Proposition 32 would prohibit both corporations and unions from contributing money to political campaigns, and would ban the collection of “political funds” via payroll deduction from both union members and corporate employees. Catch #1: Payroll deductions are unions’ only source of political funds. Corporations don’t typically use them, instead spending from their corporate treasuries. And while union members can opt out of payroll deductions for political purposes, shareholders are often kept in the dark about corporate political spending. Catch #2: The act is full of loopholes. LLCs, partnerships and real estate trusts are all exempt. Catch #3: It only bans donations to political campaigns — but as we all know, the big bucks now often go to super PACs rather than directly to the candidates.

“It’s very self conscious,” Dreier says.  ”They did this very purposefully to allow billionaire right wingers and insurance companies and hedge funds to continue to fund their causes in California. And if this wins in California, this will have ripple effects throughout the whole country.”

Dreier also talks about his new book The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. (Full disclosure: Bill Moyers is one of the hundred.)

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Laura Flanders

Best-selling author and broadcaster Laura Flanders is the "strong local economies" fellow at Yes! Magazine and a contributing writer to The Nation. She hosts "The Laura Flanders Show" on GRITtv, an independent source for in-depth interviews with forward thinking people. Sign up to receive the latest at GRITtv.org or facebook.com/grittv. On Twitter, she's @GRITlaura.


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blog comments powered by Disqus