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For Immediate Release:  Friday, June 4, 2010
Contact:  Kim Alexander
916-441-2494, kimalex at

Campaigns Raise $70 million to Support and Oppose State Ballot Propositions --

Voters can follow the money online at


Sacramento, CA -- Campaigns supporting and opposing the five propositions on California’s June 8 ballot have raised a combined total of $69.7 million to spend on the five statewide ballot propositions as of June 2, according to a campaign finance analysis by the California Voter Foundation (CVF).  The research is featured online in CVF’s nonpartisan California Online Voter Guide

Pacific Gas & Electric, sponsor of Proposition 16, is the largest single donor by far, contributing $46 million to support a measure which, if enacted, imposes new two-thirds voter approval requirements for local public electricity providers.

“PG&E’s spending to support Prop. 16 has eclipsed all other proposition spending this election season,” observed Kim Alexander, CVF’s president.  “PG&E’s donations comprise two-thirds of all the money raised for and against all the measures on the ballot combined.”

Coming in second on the fundraising front is Mercury General Corporation, which has donated nearly $16 million to support Prop. 17, an initiative sponsored by Mercury to change auto insurance pricing rules.  The political playing field on both propositions is far from level; opponents to Prop. 16 have raised just $97,937, while Prop. 17 opponents have raised approximately $1.5 million.

The fight over Prop. 14, which would revise California’s primary election process, is also lopsided on the money front; proponents have raised $5.1 million, $2 million of which has been donated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Although fundraising against Prop. 14 has been on the rise due to large donations from several labor groups, opponents have only raised a total of $244,500 to date. 

Fundraising on Proposition 15 is relatively low for both the pro and con campaigns.  This measure, if passed, establishes a pilot project for public financing of the campaigns for Secretary of State in 2014 and 2018.  Proponents have raised a total of $326,778 to date, with the California Nurses Association being the campaign’s top donor.  The measure would tax lobbyists to pay for the public finance system.  Opponents, chiefly  lobbying interests and firms based in Sacramento, have raised a total of $218,150.  No money has been raised for or against Proposition 13, which would close a loophole in state law that proponents say discourages seismic retrofitting.

The California Voter Foundation’s online voter guide features a list of the top 5 donors for and against each measure on the ballot. Other resources include news articles, links to campaign web sites, and official ballot pamphlet information. CVF’s guide also includes contact information and web site links for all state and federal candidates on the California ballot.

“Millions of voters will go to the polls on June 8 and need access to reliable, nonpartisan election information,” said CVF’s Alexander.  “CVF’s voter guide and top 5 donor lists provide valuable shortcuts voters can use to quickly determine who’s really behind each proposition.” 

The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization and does not take positions on candidates or measures on the ballot.  CVF’s 2010 voter outreach projects are sponsored by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

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