2006 Ballot Measure Overview

Source: National Institute on Money in State Politics

While voters may have the final say on ballot measures when they vote “yea” or “nea” at the ballot box, they have little to do with the funding of those measures. In 2006, only 23 percent of the $648 million raised to support or oppose ballot measures came from individuals, a new report finds.

And, only 15 donors gave most of that $147.5 million provided by individuals, according to the report by the National Institute on Money in State Politics stated. Businesses and special interests provided the lion’s share of funding for the measures, giving nearly $444.7 million. Labor organizations contributed another $48.2 million, while unitemized contributions — those that fall under the states’ reporting threshold for providing donor information — came to $3.3 million. The remaining $4.7 million came from party, candidate and leadership committees.

The 2006 election also saw a jump in the number of measures faced by voters: 219 measures appeared in 37 states, almost double the 111 measures in 28 states in 2004.

California led the pack in expensive campaigns, generating $359 million for 15 measures and accounting for more than half of the $648 million raised nationwide. One measure accounted for much of the money in California; Proposition 87, which would have imposed a profit tax on energy companies, drew $153.9 million in political donations.

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