POLITICAL DIARY Updated October 3, 2012 –
By ALLYSIA FINLEY
The best shot that California taxpayers have to take back their state from Big Labor is slipping away—and fast. Three new polls show that support is sinking for Proposition 32, the so-called paycheck protection ballot initiative that would bar unions (and corporations) from withholding money from workers’ paychecks to finance their political spending. The reason? Unions have smothered the initiative with globs of cash that they’ve drawn from workers’ paychecks.
A University of Southern California poll this week has the initiative trailing by eight points, while a Public Policy Institute of California survey shows it down by seven and a Field Poll by six. In all three surveys, about a fifth of voters remain undecided, so the initiative still stands a chance if its proponents can get their message out. To wit, the only way to fix the state is by reining in the unions that steer nearly every piece of legislation and drive almost every dollar of spending.
Public unions have thus far put up $45 million to kill the initiative while its backers have raised just $8 million. The California Teachers Association alone has laid down $19 million. Compare that to the $8 million they’ve given to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, which should provide a good indication of the two measures’ relative political importance.