The campaigns behind the nine initiatives on California’s November 2 ballot have raised over $120.6 million according to a campaign finance analysis by the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation (CVF).
Proposition 23, which would suspend California’s global warming reduction law until the unemployment rate is below 5.5 percent, has attracted the most funding. Supporters have raised $9.1 million, primarily from oil and gas interests. Opponents, funded primarily by environmental organizations and wealthy individuals, have raised over $27 million. By contrast, Prop. 19, the measure that would tax, regulate and legalize marijuana, has raised the least amount, with supporters raising $2.7 million and opponents just over $200,000.
CVF’s California Online Voter Guide now features the top five donors for and against each measure. Following the money is a great shortcut for busy voters who are looking for cues to help them make their voting decisions. This election voters are seeing some high stakes initiative battles. Typically the ballot includes a few measures from the legislature which attract little or no funding. This election every proposition is an initiative, many of them representing battles that began in the Legislature between well-funded interest groups that are now being fought out on the ballot.
Proposition 20 is financed almost entirely by a single individual, Charles T. Munger of Palo Alto. It would expand the job of the new Citizens Redistricting Commission (enacted by initiative in 2008) to include congressional redistricting. The campaign supporting Prop. 20 is also opposing Prop. 27, which would repeal the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Prop. 27’s financial backers include Haim Saban of Los Angeles, unions and politicians.
Prop. 21 would enact a vehicle license fee to support state parks and is funded by environmental organizations and the state parks’ foundation. Prop. 22, which would restrict the state government’s access to funds earmarked for local government, is backed by local government and transportation interests; the opposition is funded largely by state public employee unions.
Prop. 24, which would repeal corporate tax credits enacted by the Legislature, is largely backed by interests representing teachers, and is opposed by corporations such as Viacom and Cisco Systems. Proposition 25, which would change the budget vote requirement from two-thirds to a simple majority, is also backed by teachers’ and other public employees’ unions and opposed by corporate and business interests such as the California Chamber of Commerce and Chevron. The same business interests opposing Prop. 25 are supporting Prop. 26, which would increase the vote requirement for enacting new fees from a simple majority to a two-thirds vote; unions as well as the state’s Democratic party campaign committee are opposing it.
CVF analyzed the total amount raised by all committees supporting and opposing the nine propositions, including funds raised in 2009 and late contributions reported through October 17. The analysis accounts for transfers made between committees as well as committees supporting and opposing more than one proposition.
Below is a breakdown of how much money each side of each proposition has raised to date:
Prop. Pro Con Total
19 – marijuana 2,747,521 216,517 2,964,038
20 – redistricting 12,578,200 212,966 12,791,166
21 – state parks 6,551,273 74,000 6,625,273
22 – local funds 4,366,200 1,075,240 5,441,440
23 – AB 32 suspension 9,087,508 27,057,988 36,145,496
24 – corporate taxes 13,082,275 13,416,000 26,498,275
25 – maj. budget vote 9,934,077 13,196,060 23,130,137
26 – 2/3 fees vote 13,712,060 3,009,541 16,721,601
27 – redistricting 5,002,937 12,598,200 17,601,137 147,918,563
Total committees supporting multiple propositions: -27,306,270