Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Two Propositions: 32 and 37
I thought that was a good answer. I believe that Senator Pavley would have answered the question the same way.
Before Mr. Zink had his half hour or so with the persons present two individuals were given five minutes each to persuade the others to vote for their favorite propositions. Proposition 32 requires labor unions to obtain permission from their members for spending members' dues in support of political candidates or issues. I am not sure of the exact wording, so all I can say about it is that it seems to me to be just another attempt to stifle what little political power labor unions still have. There seems to be no corresponding restriction on corporations in spending money for or against candidates and issues.
Proposition 37 would require that all processed food sold in California should be labeled to indicate whether it contains genetically modified food. At present there is no such requirement in this country. More than 40 other countries do require that genetically modified food be labeled.
I haven't read the text of either proposition yet. My inclination at present is to vote NO on Proposition 32. I believe that Proposition 37 is an exercise in futility. Food labeling is at present governed by federal law. If California tries to impose a standard stricter than that of the federal law, the proposition would be challenged in court. The chances are that the federal court would eventually decide that the federal law preempts any State law regarding food labeling. I will probably vote for the proposition but won't expect it to go into effect during my remaining lifetime.
I wish the backers of Proposition 37 would direct their attention on getting the federal law changed. They should be sending petitions to our two Senators, Feinstein and Boxer, as well as to Representatives Waxman, Berman, and Sherman, to name a few.
This issue is a good example of the power of corporate money in our politics. Companies like Dole, Green Giant, and Monsanto don't want genetically modified food to be identified as such. Even though most such food is nutritious and harmless many people are suspicious of it and won't eat it if given a choice. That would be bad for business. And, as President Coolidge once said, "The business of America is Business."