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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Most Misleading Campaign of the Year

It seems every election has its rogue campaigns, but in recent memory, none have been so disappointing as the fight over Measure 64. The proponents are rattling on about how this "campaign finance reform" measure prevents using our tax dollars for political purposes, and outlaws evil-sounding "commingling of funds" and other horrors. The opponents tell us that passing this initiative will jeopardize our very lives, because it will prevent firefighters, nurses, and teachers from speaking out about safety issues. Oh, and Bill Sizemore! Bad, bad, bad -- read no further.

Although the spin on both sides is fast and furious, no one's talking about what this measure really does. Here's what it's actually about -- the crucial example from the official Voter's Pamphlet:

* A public employer could not deduct part of the employee's wages, whether or not at the employees request, and transfer that deducted money to an organization that uses all or part of the money to support or oppose candidates, political parties, initiatives or ballot measures. Organizations that use public payroll deductions include unions, charities, insurance companies and financial institutions.
In other words, it's another another skirmish in the nasty war between the tighty righties and the government employees' unions. Yes is anti-union, and no is pro-union. All the rest is blown smoke.

So much so that we hereby name both sides on Measure 64 our Most Misleading Campaign of this election.

Comments (7)

Well I guess I am anti-union since I voted YES despite the fact that my father spent 30 years in a union and a union scholarship helped to pay for my college education.

Politics is too damn complex to continue with these darn black/white, pro/con generalizations. Just because I am "pro-life" doesn't mean I think those that disagree with me are "pro-death." This crap has got to stop if we are ever going to have meaningful solutions to our problems.

If a measure significantly impacts and changes the conduct of campaign finance, isn't it a campaign finance reform being discussed?

So how's it misleading?

Yeah, I guess I'm having trouble understanding why this is misleading. It always seemed like union/anti-union territorialism...

The ads don't give even a hint of what the measure actually does. It's all overheated rhetoric. On both sides.

Well I guess I am anti-union since I voted YES despite the fact that my father spent 30 years in a union and a union scholarship helped to pay for my college education.

Yes, I guess you are.

Voting yes on 64 is "anti-union" in much the same way as supporting tort reform is anti-Catholic.

They (unions and the Church) are some more of the types of institutions that are too important to fail (I think we're going to discover a lot more of these important institutions under Pres. Obama).

We shouldn't undermine them for the sake of accountability.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, etc.

I'm thinking about putting a "Ron Paul 2012" sign in my yard.

I voted yes since it just seems to be a simple question of fairness. Why should union members have their dues used to support issues that they do not personally support?

The union leadership has been able to use their position of authority to promote their own personal views. We don't allow corporations to take money from employees for use in political campaigns but for some reason it is okay for union leaders to spend dues on issues that the members don't agree with.

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