The Arizona House Government Committee on Tuesday passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1028 which, if passed, would ask Arizona voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to recognize employees’ fundamental right to protect their paychecks from political machinations.
“An employee in this state shall be free from any employer deducting or facilitating the deduction of a payment from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes, unless the employee annually provides express written permission to make the deduction.”
The language is fair, reasonable and straight-forward—precisely the qualities of a constitutional amendment that the Arizona electorate rewards with their votes. SCR 1028 places its focus where it belongs, on the right of Arizona workers to decide whether they wish to participate in political activities.
As a ballot referendum, the grassroots conservative proponents of this fundamental employee right embrace the clarity required in a single-subject constitutional proposition. SCR 1028 does not discriminate between management and labor by treating the political fundraising of each differently. Moreover, SCR 1028 does not invite the legitimate charge of political favoritism by denying this amendment’s constitutional protections to one or more groups of employees. SCR 1028 is so evenhanded and nondiscriminatory; it passed the Senate with bipartisan support.
However, special interests are trying to hijack the legislation and risk its chances of victory on the November 2012 ballot. Worse, if their actions are successful would likely invalidate the proposition and void its fitness to appear on the ballot.
The assault on SCR 1028 took the form a failed amendment crafted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry that would make an exception for “payments to a separate segregated fund maintained by an employer.”
The Arizona Chamber’s destructive and shortsighted amendment is designed to deny corporate political action committee contributors the same rights every other employee enjoys under SCR 1028. However, in addition to carving out Big Business PACs, such “separate segregated funds” present an enormous loophole that union bosses will use to continue to spend their members’ pay for political causes the employees do not support.
On policy grounds alone, it is a bad amendment and must not be allowed to be made to SCR 1028. But the amendment’s destructiveness goes deeper.
According to constitutional law expert Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute, “That exception would destroy the universality of the principle at issue. It also could expose the measure to an equal protection challenge under the United States Constitution.”
Also, by accommodating this one special interest’s shortsightedness, the entire paycheck protection effort will likely founder on the rocks of a single subject challenge in the courts. Such a single subject challenge should be fresh in our minds because it derailed what would have been Prop. 108 in 2010. That troubled effort required a desperately assembled Special Session at the last possible moment in August 2010 to re-refer a valid version of the Save Our Secret Ballot Anti-Card Check Referendum (Prop. 113).
Why would legislative leadership ever entertain risking the validity of another referral on the flimsy and self-serving meddling of a special interest? If a special interest like the Arizona Chamber cannot abide SCR 1028 without their carve-out then they should oppose the measure in the light of day and allow lawmakers to discern the value of the unaltered legislation.
Grassroots conservative supporters of a viable paycheck protection constitutional amendment should contact the bill’s sponsor Sen. Frank Antenori and all members of the Republican House Caucus and support the SCR 1028 WITHOUT AMENDMENT.
Please contact the following legislators and ask them to support SCR 1028 WITHOUT AMENDMENTS.
|House GOP Caucus||District||Phone|
|Kirk Adams (Speaker of the House)||email@example.com||602-926-5495|
|Kate Brophy McGeefirstname.lastname@example.org||602-926-4486|
|Debbie Lesko (Majority Whip)||email@example.com||602-926-5413|
|Steve Montenegro (Speaker Pro Tempore)||firstname.lastname@example.org||602-926-5955|
|David Burnell Smithemail@example.com||602-926-4916|
|David W. Stevensfirstname.lastname@example.org||602-926-4321|
|Andy Tobin (Majority Leader)||email@example.com||602-926-5172|
|SCR 1028′s Prime Sponsor|
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