Proposition 32 on the Nov. 6 state ballot isn't what it appears to be.
"Fraud" and "sham" are strong words, but they come to mind when talking about this initiative.
For that reason, The Star recommends a "no" vote on Proposition 32.
This measure claims to be aimed at cleaning up politics by clamping new restrictions on contributions. In reality, it amounts to a cynical ploy because it ignores some of the biggest problems of money in politics while putting handcuffs only on the political opponents of some of the measure's biggest backers.
What's worse, the proposed restrictions in Proposition 32 already have been rejected by California voters - twice.
Proposition 32 resembles proposals attempted in 1988 by Gov. George Deukmejian and again in 2005 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the ballot box, both failed by wide margins.
Like those unsuccessful efforts, Proposition 32 would restrict unions' ability to obtain political funds from their members through payroll deductions.
Proposition 32 claims it's fair and balanced because it imposes the same restriction on business; however, payroll deductions for political contributions are far less common in business.
Instead, business interests directly contribute to candidates, independent expenditure committees and super PACs as allowed under the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous "Citizens United" decision. Proposition 32 wouldn't change that.
When supporters of Proposition 32 say it would "take the big money out of politicians' hands," they aren't leveling with the voters. This measure wouldn't even begin to do what its backers promise.
If supporters of Proposition 32 wouldn't accept the voters' decisions in two previous elections or thought they could trick the public this time around with a deceptive initiative, then they deserve to hear a loud, clear rejection from voters Nov. 6.
The Star unequivocally recommends voting "no" on Proposition 32.