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November 8, 2005

California Ballot Initiative Comment

-- by Dave Johnson

I didn't say this publicly before the election, but if Prop 75 passes -- the one restricting public employee unions from putting money into elections -- then the unions will finally have to start putting money into a different kind of approach. I'm talking about strategic communications organizations designed to reach out to the general public with a long-term strategic approach aimed at changing public attitudes. These organizations would do things like reach out to the general public with messaging about how Progressive values are good for people, and that the Progressive approach to issues benefits them mpore than a right-wing approach.

In other words, GROWING THE BASE instead of just trying to get more of a shrinking base to the polls.

So don't take it as a big loss if California's Prop 75 wins. It will mean unions have to start putting money into "Progressive Infrastructure." Try Googling "Progressive Infrastructure" to see what I mean.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 8, 2005 9:57 PM

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I wonder how that might work with the unions already split; one section to donate heavily to political campaigns and the other to grow the union base.

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2005 11:05 PM

Umm... but Dave, they'll have less about 1/8th the money they have now, to put into ANYTHING political. We're talking participation rates that switch from 80-90% under the current mechanism, to 8-9%. If you can't convince them to loosen up money for "Progressive Infrastructure" right now, how in the hell do you expect to do it when they've got that much *LESS* money to work with?

Not to mention the huge huge huge damage that defunding political organizing by public sector employee unions will do to grassroots progressive campaigns at the local level. You're talking about taking out a huge source of the funding for passage of school parcel tax and bond measures, just to start out with...

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2005 11:40 PM

Progressive Infrastructure organizations are NOT political. They are 501c3 charities - just like the Right's Heritage Foundation, Cato, etc. They are outside of the election/political system. They are tax-deductible. They are NOT part of Prop 75.

All the money that they can't put into politics if it passes ... well, Progressive Infrastructure organizations are there waiting.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 8:34 AM

Cool! This is what I'm attempting to do in Colorado. Later on today I have a 2nd interview with the Carpenters' Union in Colorado to become their political director. Influencing public opinion will be my top priority. Until people start recognizing that unions work for the benefit of the people, businesses will continue to win.

Posted by: Jeff at November 9, 2005 9:49 AM

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