ACSA opposes Proposition 32 – commonly referred to as the Special Exemptions Act – because it would undermine the association’s political voice and the voices of all educators in advocating for schools and students.
The November ballot initiative prohibits ACSA members and other educators from voluntarily contributing to political campaigns, even with written permission, while billionaires could continue to contribute unlimited amounts of money to secretive super political action committees.
ACSA maintains that instead of creating a level playing field, Prop. 32 would create special exemptions for corporate special interests and billionaires, giving them even more political power to write their own set of rules, while cutting educators out of the political process.
Proposition 32 has been described by editorial boards and columnists as “a fraud to end all frauds,” “deceptive,” “a sham” and “phony.”
The pro-32 campaign committee California Future Fund for Free Markets, Yes on Proposition 32, has secured major funding by the American Future Fund, exactly the type of secretive super PAC that stands to benefit most from the initiative’s passage. AFF made an initial investment in the Yes on 32 campaign of $4.08 million.
Despite AFF’s efforts to operate entirely in the shadows, it has a history in campaigns around the country. AFF is based in Des Moines, Iowa, backed primarily by oil and energy interests, and has been directly linked to billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch.
“Prop. 32 unfairly singles out educational leaders, teachers, nurses and firefighters and limits their voices,” said ACSA President David Gomez. “But it does nothing to stop anonymous donors like AFF from influencing elections.”
Since this campaign is a direct attack on membership organizations with PACs like ACSA, CTA and police and firefighters, tens of millions of dollars will be spent to protect the local voice.
This is the third time proponents have attempted this initiative in California, and it appears they will stop at nothing to win voter support. The No on Prop. 32 campaign released its first TV commercial last week.
“Have you heard about Proposition 32? It claims it will stop campaign spending by special interests, but let’s see who’s exempt: Big Oil Companies, Insurance Company Executives, Wall Street Bankers, Developers, Hedge Fund Managers, Super PACs,” the ad posits. “And, now let’s see who’s funding the Yes on 32 campaign: Big Oil Companies, Insurance Company Executives, Wall Street Bankers, Developers, Hedge Fund Managers, Super PACs.
“Yep, the groups funding Prop 32 have exempted themselves. So those special interests will have free rein to give themselves more tax breaks while the middle class pays the price. Learn more about Prop 32. Because it’s not what it seems.”
No on Prop. 32 campaign resources may be found online at www.acsa.org/NoOn32.