Teachers union gives another $6.9 million to Prop. 32 fight
California's largest teachers union is literally doubling down to fight Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.
On Wednesday, the California Teachers Assn. contributed $6,950,000 to the labor-backed opposition campaign, bringing the grand total of its donations to more than $16 million, according to records filed with the secretary of state's office. In all, unions have raised more than $35.7 million to defeat Proposition 32.
The measure would prohibit both unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates. The initiative would also ban the practice of political contribution by payroll deduction, a provision that labor leaders say would disproportionately harm unions since that is the primary method labor organizations use to raise political cash.
Good government groups, including the League of Women Voters of California and Common Cause, also oppose the measure.
The “Yes on 32” campaign counters that the payroll provision is a way to “empower employees” and union members while curtailing the influence of special interests. Supporters say that if the measure passes, employees would still be able to make political contributions to their employer or union as long as the money is not automatically deducted but given with written consent.
In all, the "Yes on 32" campaign has raised more than $3.1 million, records show. More than half of that came from GOP rainmaker Charles Munger Jr., television tycoon A. Jerrold Perenchio and Thomas Siebel, the founder of C3 and Siebel Systems.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento