The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 9, 2009
Two public employee political funding initiatives enter circulation

The Secretary of State's office has approved two ballot measures for circulation that are of keen interest to state workers, especially if they remember Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election of 2005.

Here's the official title and summary of the first one:

MAKES ILLEGAL THE USE OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE WAGE DEDUCTIONS FOR POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Amends the California Constitution to make it illegal to deduct from wages or earnings of a public employee any amount that will be used for political activities as defined. Prohibits any membership organization that receives public employee wage deductions from using those funds for any political activities, but does not apply to deductions for charitable organizations, health, life or disability insurance, or other purposes directly benefitting the public employee. Authorizes the Legislature and Fair Political Practices Commission to adopt related laws and regulations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably minor state and local government implementation costs, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines and/or fees.
IMPOSES POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Prohibits public employee labor organizations from using member dues or nonmember fees for disbursements to political committees unless the employee provides prior annual written consent on a particular form. Does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefitting the public employee. Requires public employee labor organizations to maintain and, upon request, submit to designated government authority, records of authorization, employee funds withheld and transferred to political committees, which records are not subject to disclosure under Public Records Act. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably minor state and local government implementation costs, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines and/or fees.

The individuals backing both initiatives -- Mark W. Bucher, Dawn M. Wildman, Allan R. Mansoor, Lawrence D. Sand and Mark J. Meckler -- are members of The Citizen Power Campaign. They believe that public employee unions exercise undue political influence with large war chests amassed with compulsory donations by public employees. Click here to view their Web site.

The first measure, which changes the state constitution, requires signatures from 694,354 registered voters to qualify it for the November 2010 ballot. The second would change state statute, so it needs just 433,971 signatures. The deadline for signature collection for both is May 3.

In 2005, Schwarzenegger pushed Proposition 75, which would have barred public employee unions from using dues for political purposes without the annual written consent of the employee. Voters turned down the measure, 53.5 percent against and 46.5 percent in favor.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


Now on the State Worker column

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.

Latest Capitol Alert headlines

    404 - Not Found - The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California

    404 Not Found

    Our apologies....

    We can't find the page you requested in this location.

    The story may have moved or expired.

    You may wish to:

  • » More on the Capitol Alert blog


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives