In a moment of high political comedy, the No on 89 campaign has argued that Prop 89’s $10,000 limit on corporate contributions to ballot measures is unfair to corporations because it doesn’t apply to labor unions. At the same time, the No on 89 campaign has argued that Prop 89 is unfair because the $10,000 limit on corporate contributions to ballot measures will apply to labor unions.
Somewhere, Erwin Schrodinger and his cat are enjoying a laugh.
The absurdity of this position makes sense when you look at the opposition, which includes two of the 800 lb. gorillas in the zoo of California politics, the Chamber of Commerce and the California Teachers Association. When the No on 89 campaign speaks to Chamber-friendly audiences, Prop 89 is unfair to corporations. When the No on 89 campaign speaks to labor-friendly audiences, as spokesperson Robin Swanson recently did on KPFA radio, Prop 89 is unfair to labor unions.
So which is it?
The answer, which has been drowned out by a torrent of misinformation, is that Prop 89 is fair to both labor unions and corporations. Just like federal law requirements for contributions to candidates and PACs, Prop 89 allows labor unions and corporations alike to contribute unlimited amounts to ballot measures through PACs.
But more importantly, Prop 89 is fair to the voters of California, who have been so marginalized by big spenders on both sides of the political spectrum that they no longer bother to show up at the polls. If Prop 89 passes, the people of California would have the opportunity to take back control of their government from the special interests and fulfill the promise of representative democracy in this state.
And it is that fact which has Prop 89’s opposition tying themselves in knots.