SACRAMENTO — Proposition 32 is stark proof that often you can tell a ballot initiative by its cover.
Its promoters call their measure "The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act."
To pilfer an old Lily Tomlin line: No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up.
Any ballot measure with a handle like that has to be automatically suspect.
Even a cursory look at Prop. 32 shows that it's about a covey of special interests from the right attacking a rival interest on the left, organized labor.
Prop. 32's real purpose is to cripple labor unions politically. It would do this by prohibiting unions from using payroll deductions for political purposes, with or without a worker's permission.
Corporations — and this is particularly deceptive — also would be covered by the ban. But they generally don't raise political money with payroll deductions. They do it either by dipping into their corporate treasuries or by putting the squeeze on highly paid executives.
The unions' sole source of political money, however, is payroll deductions.
Prop. 32's goal. It's to render unions — private and public sector — politically impotent.
Exempted from Prop. 32 are tons of business entities: limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partners.... And, of course, it wouldn't affect billionaires.
One very rich Republican activist, Charles Munger Jr., has donated nearly $22 million to a committee pushing Prop. 32 and opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, Prop. 30.