Provisions of Public Financing Measure Draw Opposition
Spending on campaigns for and against Proposition 89 is motivated in part by concerns that passage of the measure would make it easier for its sponsor -- the California Nurses Association -- to win passage of a universal health care initiative in a subsequent election, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Proposition 89 would increase the state income tax on corporations and financial institutions to create a publicly-funded campaign system. In addition to other contribution limits for candidates, the measure would cap corporate contributions to ballot measure campaigns. Proposition 89 would not restrict initiative contributions from public interest groups, individuals and some labor unions, including CNA.
Jeff Flint, a spokesperson for the No on 89 campaign, said, "It's fair to say that there is greater concern among our contributors about the initiative side of the measure," adding, "It's fairly obvious proponents are looking at future initiatives, so by necessity our supporters are looking at that, too."
CNA spokesperson Chuck Idelson said that the union's support for the measure is not motivated by interest in a specific candidate or ballot measure but that regardless of what the union spends on the campaign in favor of Proposition 89, passage of the measure would mean that "we'd have to spend a lot less in the future" on political campaigns.
CNA has contributed about $4.5 million to the campaign in favor of Proposition 89, while a number of opponents, including several in the health care industry, each have contributed more than $100,000 to the No on 89 campaign. For example, the opposing campaign has collected $200,000 from a pharmaceutical industry group and at least $100,000 from Blue Cross of California (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26).