**UPDATE** Recent television advertisements paid for by public employee unions deceptively suggest that (paraphrasing) 'there are already ways for members to opt-out of politcal fees and activities', and that Prop 75 is therefore unecessary.
What they don't say, but as this original post did below, is that the only way for a union member to 'opt-out' is to resign membership in the union. A member cannot opt-out.
Furthermore, if this proposition is "unecessary", then why will the public employee unions pay the tens and probably hundreds of million dollars on their "No on 75" campaign?
This third installment in my series of discussions about the California Special Election next month discusses Proposition 75, which, if passed, would require public employee unions to receive annual written permission from each member to use union dues for political purposes.
The public employee unions (police, fire, nurses, and teachers, primarily) are absolutely livid about this proposition because it's passage would mean that these unions would not be able to compel their members to contribute money to spend on the political campaigns that the union leadership supports.
Currently, public employees are not required to join unions, and those who choose not to join must pay a fee to the union for the union's collective bargaining work, though they do not have to pay a fee to the union for political activities.
Members of the union, however, don't have that right, and must pay whatever fee the union leadership decides is appropriate to support whatever political position the leadership chooses. The member who believes in and supports the right to collective bargaining, but is not politically allied with the generally far-left leaning union leadership, MUST support financially the leadership's political positions. The passage of Prop 75 would end that unfair practice and allow loyal members the option to 'opting-out' of political activity. That is the extent of the proposition if passed.
The union leadership views this issue as one of power; specifically theirs. They try to paint the backers of Prop 75 as evil corporations out to destroy the American way of life, when, in fact, this matter is really about freedom and the rights of the individual over that of the union. Many union members support the union in its efforts to help members, but don't necessarily support the political positions of the union leadership. This proposition would simply allow the members themselves—not union leadership—to decide if they wish to finacially support the union's political activities.
One of the arguments against passage of Prop 75 is that it unfairly targets unions, and doesn't require corporations to receive shareholder permission prior to contributing to a given political campaign. However, their is a very big difference between unions and corporations in this regard. If you work as a police officer, firefighter, nurse, or teacher in the state of California, you must join the union, or be represented by them as a non-member. There are no other choices.
However, no one is required to buy shares in a corporation. The decision to own or not to own shares in publicly traded corporation is entirely that of the individual. Furthermore, you can still work and provide for yourself and your family while owning, or while not owning shares in a corporation. Your livelihood is not affected in any way by your personal decision to own or not to own corporate stocks.
This issue, despite what the unions are spending millions to convince you of, is simply about choice. Your choice versus theirs. The rights of the individual or of the union. Freedom versus central control.
Vote YES on 75
California Special Election
California Public Employee Unions