Former President Bill Clinton has jumped into the Proposition 32 fight in the last few days with recorded telephone messages urging voters give thumbs down to the campaign-finance measure on Tuesday's ballot.
Clinton, arguably the nation's most popular Democrat, also has been robocalling on behalf of candidate Ami Bera, who is seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Dan Lungren in the hotly-contested the Sacramento region's 7th Congressional District race.
Clinton's call criticizes Proposition 32 as faux reform that helps special interests "put even more money into politics. It's arithmetic." It's produced by the union-backed No on 32 committee with major funding from the California Teachers Association Issues PAC Committee and the California State Capitol Service Employees Committee.
The measure's supporters say Proposition 32 is reasonable reform that will limit both union and corporate influence in California's state and local politics by prohibiting either group from making contributions directly to candidates or to candidate-controlled committees.
The measure doesn't rein in spending on independent expenditure campaigns, but unions couldn't use members' dues to play in that arena. Proposition 32 also bans spending payroll-deducted money -- including members' dues that are organized labor's sole funding source -- on political activities. Corporations would still have money to spend on politics because they fundraise with company resources and executive contributions.
PHOTO: Former President Bill Clinton at UC Davis stumps for Democrats on Oct. 9, 2012. / Sacramento Bee, Renee C. Byer