Besides getting rid of our incompetent and narcissistic president, there is no other issue more important in California than Prop 32. It would be difficult to overstate the impact that it will have in California politics.
Many of you remember the story of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Bernd, who was accused of blindfolding students, some as young as 7, and giving them cookies laced with his “bodily fluids.” He was charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct on children. LA Unified tried to fire him, but the process dragged on for months and ended with LAUSD paying Bernd $40,000 to settle.
Yes you read that right, LAUSD paid this creep $40K to get lost, rather than fight him for years through the appeal process. And he still wasn’t fired, he retired!
As a result of this case, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) introduced SB 1530. This bill would have simplified the process to get rid of deviants like Bernd. It passed the Senate and was referred to the Assembly, where it never made it out of the Education Committee.
Why, you ask?
The California Teachers Association did a full court press to defeat SB 1530. Even the San Francisco Chronicle said, “The influence of the California Teachers Association was rarely more apparent – or more sickening – than in the defeat of SB1530. The union showed its willingness to defend an expensive and cumbersome process for firing bad teachers at almost any cost – even if that means school districts must continue to spend exorbitant sums of time and money to dismiss teachers in cases involving sex, drugs or violence with students.”
So why does the CTA have so much power that they can convince six Democrats on the Education Committee to kill the bill? Money! According to CNN, every one of those Assembly members that voted against the bill was a recipient of CTA money. Sometimes you do actually have to pay the piper. So even this bill, supported and authored by self-described pro-union Democrats, was defeated because the CTA pulled some strings.
Prop 32 will go a long way to cut those strings.
Prop 32 will do three things:
- Prohibit both corporations and unions (like the CTA) from giving any money to candidates (this would apply to all businesses as well).
- Prohibit the deduction of political money from worker paychecks (so all contributions will be voluntary – the employee will have to write a check)
- Prohibit contractors from giving to politicians who approve their contracts (no more pay to play)
This is simple and makes good common sense. But to realize the impact to an organization like the CTA, you need to understand their current system. Right now if you were a public school teacher, you would be paying somewhere around $1,100/year to the union to be able to be employed. You didn’t vote to start or join a union; it was there when you got there. You were required to join in order to have your job.
Of that $1,100, more than $300 is used for political purposes. And it’s taken out of your paycheck, whether you want to donate or not. Prop 32 would end that. The CTA would have to come and ask you for the money.
When automatic deductions were discontinued in Wisconsin, some estimates were that the participation rate went from 100 percent to 20 percent. Imagine if the CTA lost 80 percent of its funding!
Vote Yes on 32 and let’s find out.