George Skelton calls Proposition 32, which would prohibit unions from making payroll deductions to raise money for political spending, a "self-serving sham." So should we continue to allow teachers unions to force their members to donate to their leaders' favorite political causes?
Why must my wife, a first-grade teacher, contribute to political causes she doesn't like? How would Skelton feel if The Times effectively forced him to support Mitt Romney via a paycheck deduction?
If unions want their members to give to certain causes, let them persuade the workers to do it. Forcing people to give to political causes they don't believe in runs contrary to the basic rules of a democracy.
I believe Proposition 32 would reduce the power of special interests and let candidates work for all Californians and not just for their donors. And I'm a dedicated Democrat.
Skelton doesn't go far enough. If the corporate millionaires and billionaires succeed in essentially stripping unions' ability to keep an opt-out political contribution system, it will mean the end of unions and the Democratic Party, since so many Democratic candidates receive campaign contributions from unions.
Once the unions are impotent, the corporations that contribute to Democratic candidates will have no need to continue doing this. We risk ending up with a one-party system.
No matter what you think of unions, do you want to live in a country where there is no opposition to corporate power?