AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Why cut off our voice? It isn’t at random. It is a deliberate attempt by certain ideologues who don’t want to hear what law enforcement and other public servants want to say about issues that concern our workplace environment, including safety, compensation and, yes, our pensions. The backers of Proposition 75 are the same folks who, earlier this year, tried to take away pensions from widows and orphans of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Going after our collective-bargaining units is more insidious than going after members of private-sector unions. While we at the Los Angeles Police Protective League have enormous respect for union members – and for all they have accomplished for workers’ rights in this country – we are not a union in one fundamental way. Traditional unions can strike, and law enforcement and firefighters cannot. Police officers and firefighters have no recourse except for collective bargaining and bringing whatever pressure we can to bear by using our political voice. We aren’t calling Proposition 75 un-Democratic or un-Republican. We don’t play partisan politics. We are against Proposition 75 because it is undemocratic – with a small “d.” Proposition 75 singles out the very people who are most committed to helping others in our state – law enforcement and other public workers – and then takes aim at our participation in the political system. The Los Angeles Police Protective League doesn’t look at party affiliation – in our membership, among the candidates we support, or among the causes we take up. That is why we speak for more than 99.5 percent of the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. And, by police training and common sense, we know to oppose someone who pats you on the shoulder, claiming to be looking out for you, while at the same time trying to stick a knife in your back. Bob Baker is president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With friends like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who needs enemies? In his latest version of Arnold doublespeak – say one thing but mean another – Schwarzenegger was ultimately pushed from behind the curtain by his well-heeled money handlers to publicly support Proposition 75. In so announcing, he audaciously claimed he is doing this to “protect” the average public employee. Of course, the truth is that Arnold’s big-business donors want the exact opposite. They want the average police officer and firefighter to shut up. They don’t want public employees to participate in the democratic process. They resent the fact that ordinary police officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees have been effective in banding together and making their voices heard. The lie underlying the campaign for Proposition 75 is that public employees have money taken from them by unions against their will and spent on political activities they don’t agree with. The state of the law in California for many years is exactly the opposite. Joining a union is a voluntary activity. If a person pays union dues because he is in a closed shop, the only dues that can be collected from him are those that are used for bargaining and related activities. Those dues cannot be used for political activity, and the employee can ask for a yearly activity report as to how the dues are spent to ensure this.