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0 comments | July 06, 2007 | 10:26 AM | posted by Ryan

The Pacific Research Institute, a coalition partner and signatory of an amicus brief, just published this commentary on what Davenport means to Californians titled, "Protecting Paychecks and First Amendment Rights."

California voters have faced paycheck protection initiatives twice in the past decade, Proposition 226 in 1998 and Proposition 75 in 2005.

In 1998, the $6 million campaign in favor of Prop 226 was dwarfed by more than $22 million in the union campaign war chest to defeat the measure.

In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger backed Prop 75—along with 4 other “reform” measures which included tenure and pension reform—with approximately $32 million, but just as with Prop 226, unions reported outspending the campaign by more than 3-to-1 (not counting undocumented spending). The behind-the-scenes numbers are even more startling. The 500 pound gorilla of California’s political scene, the California Teaches Association, pulled out $100 million to spend against Schwarzenegger’s measures. Their sidekick, the state correctional officer’s union pulled out another huge sum. In total, EFF estimated unions spent more than $200 million (As much as the Democratic party spent trying to put John Kerry in the White House in 2004.) against the Schwarzenegger measures, including Prop 75.

The PRI article explains why unions are so deathly afraid of paycheck protection and concludes with the suggestion that voters “should look beyond expensive advertising campaigns funded by union war chests to the real issue of First Amendment rights.”

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