Letters to the Editor

Monday, Oct 08 2012 11:00 PM

The subtext of Prop. 32

By The Bakersfield Californian

When I see the purported symmetry of Proposition 32 in barring payroll deductions by both unions and corporations and direct contributions by these institutions to political candidates, I am reminded of the comment by Anatole France on law and justice in late-19th-century France: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

Corporations and unions alike could not make payroll deductions. But corporations rarely, if ever, make such deductions. And while both entities make many political contributions indirectly, Prop. 32 drains funds for such purposes from unions while leaving funds from the corporations effectively unabated. This is to say nothing of other mostly business entities that Prop. 32 exempts. All of this is the subtext of the measure.

Comprehensive campaign financing law symmetrically controlling the abusive control of the political process by big labor, big business -- big money -- is needed. It's been tried. But after the Citizens United decision, such reform seems a forlorn hope. Prop. 32, written in this context, stacks funding for the rich under the guise of purported symmetry.

That is why I believe it deserves to be rejected.

Roy Malahowski

Bakersfield

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