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Labor, business launch dueling Prop. 32 campaigns

September 18, 2012 | 12:42 pm

Business and labor groups launched dueling ad campaigns Tuesday focusing on Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.

A group with ties to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers is airing television spots supporting the initiative, saying the influence of corporations and unions in Sacramento is "killing California." The ads, funded by the American Future Fund, blame "deals cut in shadows in back rooms" for the state's high unemployment, "lavish pensions," and poorly performing schools.

"Cut the money tie between special interests, lobbyists and career politicians," the ad says. "Put people back in charge."

Meanwhile, the union-backed opposition campaign is airing statewide spots that highlight the initiative's business backers, casting the proposition as a deceptive measure crafted to hamstring organized labor while benefiting corporations.

"Those special interests will have free rein to give themselves more tax breaks while the middle class pays the price," the ad says. "Learn more about Prop 32. Because it's not what it seems."

Unions and good-government advocates argue that while the initiative would ban corporations and labor unions from directly contributing to candidates, the measure exempts limited liability companies, or LLCs, and business trusts, allowing unfettered corporate contributions.

Supporters say no such exemption exists and that the measure's language mirrors federal law.


Unions raise nearly $10 million to fight Prop. 32

Good-government groups call Proposition 32 deceptive

Bid to curb union spending gets big Democratic backer

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento