California wades into national labor debate

October 4, 2012 • Business

FILE — In this May 13, 2011 file photo, teachers,. students and supporters demonstrated against proposed budget cuts to education, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2011. If approved by voters in November, Proposition 32 would prohibit corporations and unions, like the California Teachers Association, from collecting money for state political activities from employees or members through paycheck deductions. It also prohibits unions and corporations from making donations to state candidates.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California voters are being asked to starve unions of the tens of millions of dollars they use to finance campaigns and political organizing, as the nation’s largest state wades into the national debate over labor clout.

The battle over Proposition 32 on the November ballot follows conflicts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere where efforts to dilute the strength of organized labor have produced political tumult, a flood of TV ads and widespread demonstrations.

The proposal, which supporters describe as a cure-all for special-interest politics, has attracted national attention for a provision that would ban the way California unions traditionally raise money to support candidates and fuel political activity.

Overall, there are about 2.4 million union members in California, and that money has helped make teachers, prison guards and other public workers some of the most feared institutions in Sacramento, where labor has longstanding ties with Democrats who now control both chambers of the Legislature and every statewide office.

Speaking last month in Los Login to read more

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