Bill prohibits use of “payroll deducted funds” – union dues – for political purposes

I have been looking over the Secretary of State’s website, here:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures.htm

very interesting.  A page that tells us what initiatives are headed our way on the June and November ballots.

One item that catches my eye, since we’ve been on this subject lately, is a bill that prohibits political contributions by payroll deduction, and also restricts contributions to candidates by public employee unions. WOW!

Currently, the Chico Police department, represented by the Chico Police Officer’s Association, their union,  has a contract with the city of Chico by which the city deducts union dues from police paychecks, whether or not that officer or police employee wants to be a member of the union. That union money has been used in past as the single biggest donation in our local elections, or it’s been used to manufacture election materials that pressure candidates and current council members to go along with the police department’s constant financial demands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK9DKRUxq-o&context=C4ae7f85ADvjVQa1PpcFMuWOOzfv33Ci6RTga076UJ6acq7LlB2mE=

That video was made with money conscripted from the paychecks of every police employee and given to the CPOA, regardless of their affiliation with the CPOA PAC.  And yes, city $taff time is used to do the bookkeeping. In other words, the CPOA, a PAC,  gets public $taff time for free to handle business they should pay for out of their own funds. And they should have to pay the benefits and the pensions that go with the salaries.  Oh well. Hopefully this bill will make the whole thing illegal.

Here’s the analysis from the union members in the State Legislative Analyst’s Office:

Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:Increased state implementation and enforcement costs of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines.

Does this analysis seem biased to you? How about that last part? 

 Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:Increased state implementation and enforcement costs of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines.

Hmmm, this doesn’t sound right to me. In fact, it sounds like they’re saying, “you’ll spend a bunch of money trying to enforce this, because we’re not going along with it.” 

I will make some phone calls – I’d like an explanation of how they came up with that “hundreds of thousands of dollars annually…” crap. I’ll keep you posted.

You realize, the SEIU gives millions in campaign contributions – they were the single biggest contributor to the “No on Measure A” campaign – the California Nurses Union was number two? Why in the heck would nurses care when we hold our local elections? To me, that says, we were headed in the right direction with Measure A. But it also says, we need to end the union stranglehold in our state with some “right to work” legislation. This bill is a start.