The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 14, 2012
Conservative organization gives $4 million to Proposition 32

With a single donation, a conservative group with ties to the Koch brothers has doubled the money backing a ballot measure that would hamper union's political fundraising.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based American Future Fund gave $4 million to a new committee backing Proposition 32, the California Future Fund for Free Markets.

The American Future Fund is an organization affiliated with the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which in turn has reported ties to billionaires Charles and David Koch.

The measure has several provisions, but labor groups are most concerned about its ban on using payroll-deducted money for political purposes. If enacted, the measure would eliminate unions' fundraising staple while leaving corporations relatively unscathed, since they raise their money from executive contributions or by tapping company resources.

The donation signals that a funding fight that was running 10-1 against the measure is far from over.

The Koch brothers, worth an estimated $50 billion, are considered among the conservative movement's most generous donors, although the opaque nature of PAC reporting makes it difficult to know exactly how much they have donated to candidates and causes around the nation.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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