Ballot Measures Could Influence Governor’s Race
Initiatives on November's ballot could "spark ... political wars" as the gubernatorial candidates have "little choice but to take a public stand on high-profile ballot measures," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Thirteen measures have qualified for the ballot.
Neither Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides nor Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has taken a position on a measure to increase the state tobacco tax by $2.60 per pack of cigarettes. The tax is expected to generate more than $2 billion for health and antismoking programs.
Schwarzenegger has indicated that the tobacco measure would not be a priority of his campaign. A campaign spokesperson suggested that while the governor opposes tax increases, Schwarzenegger would not wholly oppose an increased cigarette tax.
Angelides has publicly opposed a measure that would require parental notification prior to an abortion on a minor. Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the initiative, but last year he "quietly supported" a similar ballot measure, Proposition 73, that voters rejected, the Chronicle reports.
A separate measure sponsored by the California Nurses Association would publicly finance state election campaigns largely through taxes on corporations (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/28). The initiative would restrict to $10,000 corporate donations to ballot measure campaigns. It also would limit annual campaign donations by corporations, unions and individuals for legislative and statewide elections (California Healthline, 6/27).
Schwarzenegger and Angelides have not stated their positions on the measure. A "variety of liberal groups" supports the public financing measure and likely will back Angelides in the fall, the Chronicle reports. Meanwhile, many of the businesses and corporations that would be paying the tax "have raised millions for Schwarzenegger," according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/28).