Voters soundly rejected Proposition 32 by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, with about 95 percent of precincts reporting this morning.
Political observers in the state widely viewed Proposition 32 as the most restrictive measure in the country targeting unions’ ability to influence politics. If enacted, the measure would have banned unions and corporations from using payroll deductions to collect any money for political purposes.
"This was never about campaign finance reform," said Steve Smith, communications director for the California Labor Federation. "It was about hurting working people and silencing unions."
Similar laws in Idaho, Michigan, Utah, Washington and Wyoming already restrict unions. But Proposition 32 would have taken another step by not allowing members to opt in for payroll deductions for campaign contributions. Instead, labor groups would have needed to establish entirely new mechanisms for raising money, such as contributions via credit cards.