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California Wades Into National Labor Debate

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California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — California voters are being asked to starve unions of the tens of millions of dollars they use to finance campaigns and political organizing, as the nation’s largest state wades into the national debate over labor clout.

The battle over Proposition 32 on the November ballot follows conflicts in Wisconsin, Indiana and elsewhere where efforts to dilute the strength of organized labor have produced political turmoil and widespread demonstrations.

Supporters say the proposal is a cure-all for special-interest politics, but it has attracted national attention for a provision that would ban the way California unions raise money to support candidates and fuel political activity.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said unions must turn back the latest attempt to “silence the voice of working people.”

Californians rejected similar measures in 2005 and 1998.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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