Teachers union adds $7.5 million to Prop. 32 fight
California's largest teachers union is digging deep to defeat Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.
The California Teachers Assn. wrote a $7.5-million check last month to the campaign against the proposition, according to records filed with the secretary of state's office Friday. A political action committee sponsored by the California Labor Federation contributed an additional $250,000.
In all, the labor-backed opposition campaign has raised more than $17.7 million.
Proposition 32 would prohibit both unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates. But labor leaders are more concerned about another provision in the initiative: banning the practice of political contribution by payroll deduction, the primary method unions use to raise political cash.
Labor officials say the measure would effectively neuter unions while giving rise to more business-fueled super PACs, which are already playing an outsize role in elections this year. The initiative's supporters say the unions are opening their coffers "to protect the status quo and maintain their influence."
The campaign for the measure has raised a total of $2.2 million, records show. As of June 30, it had about $1 million on hand.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento