Fundraising Lags for Supporters, Opponents of Campaign Finance Measure
Groups on both sides of a Nov. 7 ballot measure that would create a publicly financed political campaign system in California are "having early problems collecting" money, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/21).
Proposition 89 would allow candidates who collect a certain number of signatures and $5 donations to be eligible for public financing for their campaigns if they agree not to accept private contributions. The measure would fund the public financing election system through an increase in corporate taxes and the $5 contributions collected by candidates. Corporate donations would be restricted to $10,000, and individuals' annual campaign donations also would be limited (California Healthline, 9/19).
The California Nurses Association, which sponsored the initiative, has contributed about $800,000 into the campaign but has raised only about $100,000 from outside sources. According to the Chronicle, supporters of the measure "may be forced to look for the big-dollar contributions their ballot measure would outlaw" to fund television and other advertising campaigns.
Meanwhile, opponents of the measure have raised about $1.3 million.
Robin Swanson, a spokesperson for Californians to Stop 89, said, "The problem is that it's a crowded ballot, and there's an expensive governor's race, and at some point people get tapped out."
However, both sides expect campaigning to intensify as the election draws nearer, with California Chamber of Commerce President Allen Zaremberg -- who opposes the measure -- saying the measure could "affect every public policy issue in California," including health care (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/21).
"Proposition 89 is first and foremost a fraudulently packaged measure designed to clear the way for a state government takeover of health care," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial states. "Its chief goal is to make some future initiative campaign" to create a single-payer health care system "about money, not ideas, by tying the hands of those who oppose the biggest expansion of state government in California history" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.