Voter Skepticism Could Affect Election
A "key question" about November's election "is whether the sheer magnitude of the total spending risks [is] eroding support for many, if not all, of the ballot measures" because all 13 initiatives "hold fiscal implications for California," the Los Angeles Times reports.
Rick Claussen, a strategist for the No on 86 campaign, said campaigns to defeat tax measures on the ballot could benefit from increased voter skepticism. Proposition 86 would increase the state tobacco tax to $3.47 per pack to fund hospital emergency department services, nursing education, children's health insurance, cancer research and other health-related programs.
The tobacco industry, which is spending millions of dollars to campaign against the measure, "portrays the initiative as a money grab by hospitals and an invitation to collusion in fixing prices for medical care," according to the Times.
Claussen notes that during last year's special election, labor unions urged voters to examine a "hidden agenda" behind ballot measures, a move that effectively made voters more reluctant to vote for the measures. Voters rejected all of the initiatives, including two on prescription drug costs and one dealing with abortion (Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 9/8).