Everyone knows 1968 shook the national political landscape but few know that was also the year the California Legislature and Governor Ronald Reagan quietly rolled California’s political environment — and not for the better. That’s they year they enacted the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act that endowed local and county personnel with the power to bargain collectively with the governments that employed them, thereby obtaining the power to collectively influence the lawmakers who approve their pay, benefits and work rules. Once the collective-bargaining door was opened, school and state employees set their eyes on the same prize, which they acquired in 1975 and 1977.

Government employee unions are not the only special interests but as the largest recipients of state, local and school outlays, they have a lot to gain or lose from political activity. They and other special interests get better treatment because they (i) pay attention to what lawmakers do while voters pay attention to what lawmakers say and (ii) never forget a legislator who crosses them while most general-interest supporters come and go. That’s where GFC is different. We know what lawmakers do, we never forget, and we are here to stay. Since its formation in 2011, GFC has raised $25 million in support of lawmakers who serve the general interest and makes more direct donations to legislators than any other organization. Had GFC been 10 years old in 1968, we are confident we could have blocked the MMB Act.

Special interests can be beaten if supporters of the general interest are persistently engaged. It doesn’t take a lot of money (donations of any size are effective because they are bundled alongside donations from other members of our network), just a lot of persistence. Support us here.  

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