The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 10, 2012
Prop. 32 debate pits GOP strategist vs. journalist; campaigns weigh in

Twitter debate pits Republican strategist vs. journalist, campaigns weigh in

Political arguments break out on Twitter all the time. On Tuesday, Proposition 32 was a hot topic. Here are some bits of the debate.

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Oct 10 2012 12:00:59

It all started with this story by Bay Area News Group reporter Steve Harmon:
Who's who of rich and powerful behind Proposition 32SACRAMENTO -- The main premise of Proposition 32 is that it would stamp out the influence of special interest groups, equally condemning ...

Twitter debate - Continued

Political arguments break out on Twitter all the time. On Tuesday, Proposition 32 was a hot topic. Here are some bits of the debate.

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Oct 10 2012 12:14:22

Aaron McLear, a Republican strategist who is leading voice for the interests battling Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30, saw the story, and the tweet war was on. (Worth noting: Charles Munger Jr. has contributed to tens of millions of dollars to efforts aimed at defeat Proposition 30 and passing Proposition 32. His half-sister, Molly Munger, has bankrolled her own tax measure, Proposition 38. It's considered a political drag on Brown's ballot initiative.)
The hypocrisy of the personal attacks on the Mungers is astonishing. Totally fine for unions to spend tens of millions but not oppositionAaron McLear
FYI the unions spending $43M vs 32 aren't exactly broke and powerless MT @ssharmon rich and powerful behind Prop. 32 McLear
@aaronmclear That's not the point, Aaron. If this goes thru, the ledger becomes lopsided in favor of Who's Who. #Prop32Steven Harmon
@ssharmon the point is no one buys elections in CA like the unions, yet scrutiny on their millions pales vs. $ from concerned citizensAaron McLear
Brian Brokaw, spokesman for the No on 32 campaign, weighed in.
@ssharmon @aaronmclear Yes #Prop32 claim they're "empowering individuals"- reality is only incredibly wealthy individuals would be empoweredBrian Brokaw
McLear then takes a little shot at Harmon:
When did u move to editorial staff? Congrats! MT @ssharmonMaybe because they represent thousands of working stiffs vs. handful of wealthy?Aaron McLear
Harmon response:
@aaronmclear Hey, you asked why unions don't get the same scrutiny as wealthy. But labor's influence at Capitol crtnly comes under scrutiny.Steven Harmon
The debate went philosophical: 
@ssharmon I know. But the idea that union $ is more valid/virtuous than rich people money, or that unions are outgunned is ridiculousAaron McLear
@scottlay @aaronmclear It comes down to plutocrats or working class. Moneyed class looks out for profits, unions look out for jobs and pay.Steven Harmon
@aaronmclear I don't say that unions are more virtuous or are outgunned. The ? is what this measure will do to alter the political equation.Steven Harmon
@scottlay @ssharmon I don't know what plutocrats are but I do know that if $ was "voluntarily" deducted there would be no Prop 32Aaron McLear
Jake Suski, spokesman for the Yes on 32 campaign jumps in:
@aaronmclear @scottlay @ssharmon if members are giving voluntary, why spend $50 million to avoid asking same members to contribute?Jake Suski
He then cites an editorial supporting the measure. (Most newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, have opposed it.)
Corporations and unions like "upper and lower jaws of the monster that ate good government." #Prop32 Suski
@scottlay @jakesuski @aaronmclear Membership dues taken for pol purposes are mandatory; but why not make that the upfront sales pitch?Steven Harmon

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives