The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 9, 2012
Blog back: The NFL refs, government worker ratios; the Prop. 32 debate

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

As the campaign contributions pour into the campaigns supporting and opposing Proposition 32 in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election, debate over the measure has heated up on The State Worker:

Oct. 1 More voters oppose Proposition 32 than support it, poll says

Here are two comments that represent the sharply opposing points of view:

Educated and informed voters immediately recognize that Prop 32 is TOTALLY one sided. There is NO equality nor balance in Prop 32. All you have to do is to look at who supports it - there is your answer!

It is unfair, AND UN-AMERICAN, to not provide equality to both sides. This will be the FOURTH time this Prop is on the ballot, as it has failed THREE prior times. This time, "they" just put a different wrap on it, and thought they could fool the public. California voters are much wiser than this!

When you FINALLY put a Prop on the ballot which supports or restricts BOTH sides "equally," you will then see that the voters will pass it. As it is now, Prop 32 is nothing more than a WASTE of time and money.....

Actually, similar measures have made the California ballot in 1998 and in 2005. A third proposal in 2010, "The Paycheck Protection Act," didn't gather enough signatures to qualify for a statewide vote.

And now for the other side ...

WRONG!! It places the same restrictions on private businesses as well. Unions can still contribute to PACs the same as a private company.

But now Unions can't force their members to pay for something they don't agree with...automatic payroll deductions should not occur the way it's happening now for the unions.

Unions aren't supposed to "force" members to pay for political activities. Union-covered employees in California can opt out. So does that reflect members' commitment to the cause or their inattention to the issues?

The fact that opponents of Proposition 32, public sector unions, are able to raise over $40 million, while also raising tens of millions in support of Prop. 30, demonstrates clearly just how much they dominate the political process in this state.

Proposition 32 will be rejected by the voters. It will be rejected because of these unions being EXACTLY what they paint their political opponents as being.

You gotta love the irony, even while you lament the overwhelming ignorance of the California electorate.

Whatever your position on Proposition 32, there's no doubt that this is a unions-versus-wealth fight.

The financing gives both sides fodder to argue for and against the measure. Unions have poured more than $43 million into defeating it so far. Meanwhile, a relative handful of wealthy individuals have pumped in $3.5 million to the Yes on 32 campaign and about $24 million more into dual-purpose committees that can use the funds to support the measure or to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 tax initiative.

Oct. 3 California near bottom in government workers-to-residents ratio, tops in pay

Government pay statistics posts always spark passionate comments. This one was no exception.

For less than 2 pennies on the earned dollar, the government provides a lot of services. Yet there are still plenty of people, conservatives no less, that are too cheap for pay for it. I just call it like it is. Deal with it.

Well look at the salaries paid by the Bee for so-called journalist. These "journalist" have no writing skills and have turned the newspaper into a RAG!

Govt pay needs to be aligned with private sector. Then we wouldn't be having this debate

Easier said than done. Many government jobs have few or no private-sector counterparts. Nor is it easy to account for variables such as education, age, service time and the like. Benefits also present a complex hurdle to figuring out total compensation. And which private sector jobs should be the measuring stick? Those in large corporations? Small businesses?

There are so many variables to consider that it's mind boggling. Take a look at this Bureau of Labor Statistics list of benefits the federal government tracks when looking at employee total compensation.

Various studies have made comparisons and come to different conclusions. All immediately come under fire for either gaping holes in the data or a perceived political agenda driving the comparison.

Oct. 3 Charles Munger doubles down to defeat Prop. 30, support Prop. 32

Double the pleasure for union ranks, LOL.

The money that Munger has put into the No on 30, Yes on 32 committee can be viewed like someone dating two people: It keeps options open. The money can go in either direction.

The unions are doing the same thing with dual-purpose committees, but the difference is that defeating Proposition 32 is their top priority.

Seeing you eat crow and all this corporation cash go to waste a month from now will double it.

Munger and his fellow Republicans who are behind Proposition 32 will likely consider it a "win" if their measure loses but in the process siphons off enough union resources to defeat Proposition 30 as well.

Oct. 4 Column Extra: Three cheers for union workers!

Typical, cheer a ref making 150,000 dollars a year for part time work, cheer Tom Hanks who belongs to the screen actors union and makes 75 million dollars for acting in a movie for three months, but make a firefighter or police officer work until they are 57 years old, cut their pension, call 911 and have them risk their life to save yours, and then feel good about yourself. What a shame.

They turned themselves into corporate employees. In other words, they caved. No more defined pensions, it's 401K time. The NFL got just what they wanted, they successfully ended defined pensions for the refs.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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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