Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch could be the poster boys for the big money special interests that are dumping hundreds of millions of dollars in this year’s elections on the national and state levels. Last week it was reported that the American Future Fund (AFF), a front group for corporate special interests that’s linked to the Kochs, dropped $4 million into the effort to pass California’s Prop. 32.
Deceptively titled, “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act,” Prop. 32 would ban the use of voluntary payroll deductions by union members who want to contribute to their union’s political activity, but it would do nothing to stop the big money campaign spending by secret corporate-backed PACs and the wealthy. Steve Smith, California Labor Federation director of communications, writes on the blog Labor’s Edge about Prop. 32:
In fact, it’s been described as a “fraud,” “ phony” and a “sham.” It benefits secretive corporate super PACs like the Kochs and Karl Rove, while eliminating the voices of teachers, firefighters and other workers.
At a rally this morning mobilizing support to defeat Prop. 32, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:
Without the voice of working people, politics don’t work. Not for working people, and not for America. And that’s why we use our unions to balance the power of corporations. To keep democracy strong. To keep our nation in balance. And, brothers and sisters, Prop. 32 would throw California and America out of balance.
With Koch’s connection to Prop. 32 revealed, Brian Brokaw, spokesman for the No on 32 campaign, says:
If any doubts remained about who is truly behind Prop. 32, we now know with absolute certainty. The very same corporate special interests who carefully exempted themselves from Prop. 32 and who stand to benefit from its passage—Big Oil, billionaire businessmen and the super PACs linked to the Koch brothers and Karl Rove—are now spending millions to pass Prop. 32 and advance their interests at the expense of everyday Californians.
Find out more about the campaign to stop Prop. 32 from the California Labor Federation and from the No on 32 coalition.