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RNs Oppose Prop. 32

CNA Press Release Press Release, 8/14/12

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Would Erode Voice of Nurses, Further Shift Policy Influence to Corporate Interests

Calling the proposal a “cynical fraud that would silence the voices of nurses and other workers in public policy,” the California Nurses Association today announced it is joining with labor, community, consumer, and good government organizations to oppose Proposition 32 on the state’s November election ballot.

“Proposition 32 pretends to be a balanced measure that would limit the influence of all big spenders in California politics, but in reality it is something far different, a one-sided attack on California working people and their unions,” said CNA Co-President Malinda Markowitz, RN.

“Proposition 32 would sharply restrict the ability of nurses, and other working people, to participate fully in public policy, especially on healthcare and other patient and public protections, while exempting the wealthy corporate interests that already dominate the electoral system,” said Markowitz.

“For nurses, this election is especially critical,” said Markowitz. “Individual nurses can never hope to compete with the billionaires, insurance companies, hospital corporations, and other wealthy interests who already have so much sway in Sacramento, and whose primary focus is on protecting their own profits, not patients or the public interest.”

“Nurses need to be able to pool resources through their union to be able to have an effective voice on vital issues including safe staffing and other patient protections in hospitals, workplace safety, public oversight of hospitals and nursing homes, and limits on corporate abuses. Multiply that by every other arena of public life in consumer and worker protections and that is what is at stake in this election,” said Markowitz.

Prop. 32 bars unions from using payroll deductions for political contributions. Since corporations do not make political donations from payroll deductions, but generally from their profits or other sources, they would be virtually untouched by the initiative. The proof of who benefits is evident in the donations to Prop. 32 and other supporters, which are almost entirely from the most conservative, anti-union individuals and groups in the state, says CNA.

CNA said it intends to campaign vigorously to defeat Prop. 32.

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