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Election 2012

Proposition 32 Union Campaign Contribution Limits: Hitler Endorsed!

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Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM

OK, so the late Adolf Hitler hasn't officially endorsed Proposition 32, the ballot measure designed to stop corporations and unions from deducting political contributions from employee paychecks. But based on the flurry of over-the-top attack mailers arriving in the last two days, it's surely only a matter of a time before he joins the party.

First, we were instructed that a "no" vote on Proposition 32 is a vote against high gas prices.

click to enlarge proposition_32_gas_prices.jpg

Then we learned that voting against Proposition 32 is a way to "Stop Wall Street Gouging on Student Loans."

click to enlarge Proposition_32_loans.jpg

But the mailer that took us from feeling vaguely bemused to seriously patronized to was this gem from a coalition of labor organizations, which was written in text message LOLese:

click to enlarge Proposition32_text.jpg

In case you can't read it, here's the exchange, written as if 25-year-old Maria and her fun mom Lynn paused from a day of shopping and manicures long enough to text their clueless friend Andre about the dangers of voting for a proposition to limit certain campaign contributions:

Andre: Can u tell me about Prop 32? What does it mean 4 me?

Maria: Billionaire businessmen will make bank from us

Lynn: Yeah, the sponsors of Prop 32 exempted themselves.

Andre: U mean, they wouldn't even be affected by this???

Lynn: Nope & if Prop 32 passes, our student loan rates will go up and gas will be more expensive!

Maria: If billionaires get their way, we lose.

Andre: That's it. I'm voting NO on 32. Forwarding www.StopSpecialExemptions.org to my friends. Now everybody knows why they should vote No on 32.

It's an after-school special in text-message form!

Unions have spent more than $70 million fighting Proposition 32 for a reason: It's clearly aimed at them. The measure bans corporations, unions, and government contractors from automatically deducting contributions from employee paychecks. But what kind of business takes contributions in that manner? That's how unions raise money; corporations just write a check from their corporate accounts.

So, yes, unions have good reason to fight back. But the focus on exemptions is spurious. All corporations would be banned from such deductions -- making Chevron, for example, subject to the same ban as unions. And noting that billionaires are exempt is stating the obvious. The Supreme Court would never uphold any proposition banning individuals from speaking freely (and expensively) about causes they believe in -- even if those individuals happen to be those much-hate billionaires.

The problem for unions is that Proposition 32 sounds reasonable on its face. Why should anyone be allowed to take part of your paycheck and use it for political contributions without your permission? So rather than stick to the issue, they've decided to claim "our student loan rates will go up and gas will be more expensive." Apparently, because Proposition 32 won't stop gas prices from rising, or reform the student loan problem, it's a no-go -- even though the same could be said about every other proposition on the ballot.

Upon reading the text of Prop 32 further, we realized that it would also fail to stop serial killers. And it does nothing to keep child molesters out of the priesthood or the Boy Scouts. Clearly, it's a vote for murderers and child molesters. We got a text from Lynn explaining that Charles Manson has endorsed Prop 32 for just that reason. Maria and Andre responded with hearty LOLs.

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