Sunday, September 18, 2005

Just Say No

Earlier this year, California teachers spoke out when the governor broke his promise to repay the two billion dollars he borrowed from the education budget. California nurses took the governor to court when he tried to roll back the hospital staffing law that protects patients. California’s firefighters and police officers attacked the governor's plan to eliminate survivor benefits for family members when an officer or firefighter is killed in the line of duty.

Now the Alliance for a Better California, a coalition of teachers, firefighters and nurses, kicked off the campaign to defeat Proposition 75 by unveiling its first TV ad.

The 30-second spot began airing statewide on September 8 and explains to California voters that Prop. 75 has a hidden agenda to silence the voices of teachers, nurses, firefighters and police who spoke out against cuts to education, health care and public safety earlier this year.

"Like previous California initiatives, Prop. 75 has a hidden agenda. Its real agenda is to make it easier for the governor and his big business pals to cut school funding, health care and public safety," said CTA President Barbara Kerr.

The top seven donors to Prop. 75 are major contributors to the governor, and a coalition of business and anti-tax groups was formed to promote Prop. 75 by gathering petition signatures earlier this year. If Proposition 75 passes, who will protect the workers in education, health care and public safety? It's a sure bet it won't be the governor who favors big business.

Prop. 75 will place restrictions on only public employees and would not impact any other organization that makes political contributions, including corporations. Yet according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, corporations already outspend unions by a 24-1 margin nationally.

Voters are fair and do not appreciate being lied to. It is apparent that Prop. 75 wants to thwart the efforts of workers and their organizations to reach out to the public, and voters won't be fooled. If this measure is so good for the public, then it should impact corporations and big business as well. Otherwise, it comes across to the voters as mean-spirited. Just say NO to 75.

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