Wow. The LA Times editorial page has endorsed Prop. 75, the union dues measure.
Proposition 75 opponents argue that this is unfair because there is no similar move to curtail the discretion of business lobbyists to invest shareholder resources in politics. But the analogy is flawed, given that this initiative applies only to public employee unions. It's not private businesses that sit across the negotiating table from public employee unions; it's the taxpayers and their elected representatives, acting as stewards of the public interest.
If this notion sounds almost quaint, it is, because it has become so divorced from reality. At many levels of government, public employee unions, aided by their political war chests, have gained control over both sides of the negotiating process. When public employee unions wield the type of influence they now do in California, too much governing becomes an exercise in self-dealing.
To take one example, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has acknowledged it will take a "holy jihad" to assume control of the local school district because teachers unions are so powerful in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Although the mayor opposes Proposition 75, his statement illustrates the need for it.