Representative Devin Nunes told the California Republican Party convention over the weekend that the party should seek relevance by sponsoring five ballot measures laying out the party’s priorities—and if the measures fail keep trying every election. Speaking from experience, sponsoring multiple ballot measures is not a wise strategy.
I was co-chair of four ballot measures on the 2005 special election ballot that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supported and all four went down to defeat. I am not the only one who had a negative experience trying to manage multiple ballot measures. Then state Attorney General John Van de Kamp, when he was running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1990, sponsored three ballot measures. All lost.
Doing even one ballot measure is hard—and in a state the size of California with so many voters to contact and influence—it is expensive. Congressman Nunes told reporters that he thought that $10-$12 million would cover the effort. That amount might be okay for one campaign—maybe–but not five. And, if you keep running multiple campaigns that fail donors will soon disappear.