SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker hosted a telephone town hall session this week about Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that would ban unions and corporations from contributing money directly to candidates.
In the phone session, Walker was joined by Trudy Schafer, a senior director of the League of Women Voters, to discuss the measure. Both groups oppose it.
Schafer said the League of Women Voters is against it because "it would appear to be campaign finance reform, but we believe that it is not reform, it is unbalanced and unfair."
Schafer said it will have no effect on Super PACs, and even though the bill bans corporations from contributing money to candidates, it does not prevent LLCs, limited partnerships and other 'big businesses' from doing so.
She said afterward that many union members had general questions about the measure, but she didn't hear any about payroll deductions. Proposition 32 would eliminate the use of payroll deductions to raise political money.
"Those who are familiar with the measure recognize that the payroll deductions for political purposes are voluntary," Schafer said.
She added that many union members give a small amount of money that, given alone, would not have a large impact but collectively has a larger effect - undercutting unions' political influence.