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Money influencing outcomes of propositions

By
From page A3 | November 16, 2012 | 9 Comments

Propositional legislation is big business in California as evidenced by how much money pours into campaigns to either pass or stop a ballot measures at each election.

Initially devised as a way for the public to bypass an unresponsive legislature, putting propositions on the ballot is now used to grant special privileges to certain groups, assess additional taxes to assist an industry or class of individuals, or effect some type of political or social change with the taxpayer usually picking up the tab.

In the most recent election, more than $392 million dollars was poured into campaigns for and against different ballot measures according to information from the Fair Political Practices Commission. (For a listing of the propositions and contributions received for and against, see the accompanying sidebar.)

Three of those attracting the most money were Propositions 30, 32, and 37.

In the case of Proposition 30, the ballot measure proposed raising the sales tax as well as the tax on those earning over $250,000 a year. It brought in donations of at least $61.4 million.

Some of the largest contributions came from groups directly benefiting from the legislation including $11.7 million from the California Teachers Association; $5 million from the Democratic State Central Committee; $1.45 million from the American Federation of Teachers; $564,759 from the California School Employees Association; and $2.9 million from the California Federation of Teachers.

Donations against the measure totaled at least $51.7 million. Some of the larger donations came from Charles Munger Jr. who gave $25 million; $11.4 million from the Small Business Action Committee; $11 million from a group called Americans for Responsible Leadership; and a slew of donations came from individuals.

Another sizeable chunk of money went to Proposition 32 which would have prohibited unions, corporations, and government contractors from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. That ballot measure received donations of $48.7 million in favor of it. Donations against totaled more than $70.7 million.

Those donating against it included $6.79 million from the California State Council of Service Employees; $6.76 from the AFL-CIO; $5 million from the SEIU; $4.3 million from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: $3.2 million from the Democratic State Central Committee; $3 million from the California Professional Firefighters; as well as other sizeable donations from other associations and unions representing public employees.

Those donating towards the proposition included $25 million from Charles Munger Jr.; $11 million from Americans for Responsible Leadership; $4 million from the American Future Fund; plus a long list of donations from individual contributors who often gave $100,000 or more.

The last of the big three was Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of products containing genetically modified food. It received donations of $8.3 million in favor of the proposition. Donations against totaled $45.7 million.

Those giving the most money towards passing the proposition included Dr. Brommer’s Magic Soap that gave a little over a half million, Mercola.com which gave $1.1 million, and Nature’s Path Foods which donated $660,709.

Those donating against the proposition included a list of the Who’s Who in the food world including: $2 million from BASF Plant Science; $2 million from Bayer CropScience; $1.5 million from Coca Cola; $1,177 million from ConAgra; $1.2 million from General Mills; $2 million from the Grocery Manufacturing Assn.; $8.1 million from Monsanto Co.; $1.3 million from Nestle USA; $2.1 million from PepsiCo. Inc; and $2 million from Syngenta Corp.

As the stakes get higher, Californians can expect to see even more money pour into the campaigns of future ballot measures as groups seek to influence public policy as well as access to the public purse.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

 

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Discussion | 9 comments

  • cookie65November 16, 2012 - 6:36 am

    Both 30 and 32 are just another fleecing of the taxpayers who unwittingly sponsored the victory for the public sector and their unions because the taxpayers money once confiscated gets laundered to sponsor that which harms the taxpayer. It would be criminal in a world of reality. People complain about the $6 billion spent on the presidental campaign but that doesn't include the $750 billion in welfare the dems spend to buy votes with. The walfare vote alone accounts for nearly 80% of the votes obama got. Must be why in so many places in philly Romney didn't get a single vote. Not even by accident amongst a population where 40% of the voters can't read. It is almost believable.

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    Dawn: How did I miss this article? Thank you. I'll be back with more - for Dee.

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 5:33 pm

    Dee, carrying forward a discussion begun elsewhere: "WHY THE PROP 37 VOTE-COUNT IS TOO PERFECT" @ https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/why-the-prop-37-vote-count-is-too-perfect/

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  • EvelynDecember 01, 2012 - 10:14 am

    DEFEATING PROP 37: • Pepsico, $2,485,400.00; • Kraft Foods Global, $2,000,500.00; • Coca-Cola North America, $1,690,500.00; • Nestle USA, $1,461,600.00; • General Mills., $1,230,300.00; • ConAgra Foods, $1,176,700.00 ; • Kellogg Co, $790,700.00; • Smithfield Foods, $683,900.00; • Del Monte Foods Co $674,100.00; • Hershey Co $621,806.72; • Campbell Soup Co $598,000.00; • The J.M. Smucker Co $555,000.00; • H.J. Heinz Co $500,000.00; • Mars Food North America $498,350.00; • Hormel Foods Corp $467,900.00; • Unilever $467,100.00; • Bimbo Bakeries USA $422,900.00; • Bumble Bee Foods , $420,600.00; • Ocean Spray Cranberries, $409,100.00; • Sara Lee Corp, $343,600.00; • Pinnacle Foods Group, $266,100.00; • Dean Foods Co, $253,950.00; • McCormick & Co, $248,200.00; • Rich Products Corp, $243,537.15; • Cargill, $243,135.70; • WM.Wrigley Jr. Co, $237,664.90; • Abbott Nutrition $234,500.00; • Flowers Foods, $182,100.00; • Dole Packaged Foods Co $171,261.61; • Welch Foods, $167,000.00; • Knouse Foods Coop, $164,731.53; • Land O Lakes, $151,535.48 (Dean Foods); • Sunny Delight Beverages Co $134,495.90; • Tree Top, $110,600.00; • Clement Pappas & Co, (AKA Your Brand) $99,477.76; • Hillshire Brands Co $85,900.00; • Mead Johnson Nutrition Co $80,000.00; • Hero North America $79,073.93; • Faribault Foods, $76,000.00; • Faribault Foods, $76,000.00; • McCain Foods USA, $52,295.63; • Godiva Chocolatier, $47,787.83; • B&G Foods, $40,000.00; • Clorox Co $39,014.83; • Bruce Foods Corp $38,500.00; • Goya De Puerto Rico, $35,400.00; • C. H. Guenther & Son, $24,189.18 ; • Goya Foods Great Lakes $21,300.00; • Morton Salt $20,957.42; • Hirzel Canning Co $14,686.66; • Reily Foods Co $13,214.52; • Inventure Foods, $11,343.80; • Sargento Foods, $7,185.27; • Idahoan Foods, $7,181.81; • Post Foods, $5,150.00; • Moody Dunbar, $5,000.00; • House-Autry Mills, $1,077.27; • Richelieu Foods, $165.80

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  • EvelynDecember 01, 2012 - 10:16 am

    The above appears a bit long and untidy, but you get the message.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 10:37 am

    LINK - context_skip to ten minutes into_Henry Miller, Hoover Institute - GREEN REVOLUTION _GMOs_10min-in

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 10:40 am

    OOPS! that was a bad link - try this one - LINK - context_skip to ten minutes into_Henry Miller, Hoover Institute - GREEN REVOLUTION _GMOs_10min-in

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  • EvelynDecember 10, 2012 - 6:37 am

    NEW EVIDENCE OF VOTING FRAUD WITH PROP 37 INITIATIVE TO LABEL GMO’S: “On Tuesday morning, Dec 4th, Prop 37 hit 6,004,628 votes on the California Secretary of State’s website, but this tally was quickly reversed within an hour of being publicized by Food Democracy Now! Since November 6th, the vote count in California has been updated daily until December 4th, when the vote count hit 6 million for the first time. When contacted, the Secretary of State’s office stated there would be no further updates to the vote totals until Dec 14th when state law requires the election results to be certified. A team of independent statisticians have detected “statistical anomalies” in the largest precincts of 9 counties, including Orange, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alameda and San Diego counties.” ********** http://theintelhub.com/2012/12/09/new-evidence-of-voting-fraud-with-prop-37-initiative-to-label-gmos/

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 10, 2012 - 7:36 am

    GMO polenta is THE best.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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