Some Groups Making Endorsements Receive Contributions
Tobacco companies are among the players in the Nov. 7 statewide election that have paid money to groups and individuals who sided with them on ballot measures, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tobacco companies oppose Proposition 86, which would increase the state tobacco tax to fund health care programs.
The No on 86 campaign has contributed $100,000 to the Peace Officers Research Association of California, a group that represents police interests on legislation. In mailings that detail the organization's positions on ballot measures, the Times reports that the group "reserved the most prominent spots" on the mailing to the police officer association's opposition to Proposition 86 and Proposition 87, a ballot measure dealing with taxes on oil producers.
Randy Perry, a partner at the lobbying firm that represents the Peace Officers Research Association, said the group opposes the measures because it believes they will divert funding from public safety programs. He added that the group does not make money on its mailings, called slate cards, and that the project is undertaken because the organization believes the cards "have an impact on voters."
The No on 86 campaign also has paid $160,000 to Alice Huffman, a Sacramento consultant who also serves as head of the California NAACP chapter. The NAACP chapter opposes Proposition 86, and a statement on the No on 86 campaign's Web site quotes the chapter as saying the measure is "patently unfair" because it would be "especially burdensome on low-income smokers."
Huffman and NAACP's national headquarters declined to comment, according to the Times.
Beyond the tobacco tax measure, the Times reports that the California Nurses Association paid $110,000 to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and its leaders as part of CNA's campaign in favor of Proposition 89. The measure would increase state taxes on banks and corporations to create a publicly financed campaign system.
FTCR President Jamie Court said the payments from CNA are intended to reimburse FTCR for the costs of services it provides on behalf of the campaign in favor of the measure (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 10/22).