Capital Recap: More Big Money Flows Into Props for Auto Insurance, Payroll Contributions, GMO Labeling, and Munger's Tax

It was a big week for ballot measures, with major new contributions flowing into the campaigns for or against several of the more popular (or hated) props.

Here's a recap, complete with charts showing both the number of contributions and the combined total amount received by supporters and opponents each day since the start of the campaign season. We'll be sure to keep cutting the numbers to bring you new ways of looking at the flow of money heading into the November election.

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The numbers come from a series of Google spreadsheets we compiled based on data from the Secretary of State's office.

Prop 32: Ban on political contributions by payroll deduction
Wednesday saw the second biggest single-day cash infusion to the contest over Prop 32, which would end the automatic payroll contribution many unions rely on for political fundraising. The California Teachers Association gave nearly $7 million to the opposition in a single transaction. The chart below shows the trend line for contributions -- blue for combined total dollar amount from Yes and No campaigns, red for the number of transactions that day.

Prop 33: Auto insurance rates based on driver history
George Joseph, the man behind the measure that would allow you to port your "continuous coverage" discount from carrier to carrier, threw down another $195,000 on Tuesday. To date, he has supported the measure almost single-handed, giving $8.4 million of his own money. Following are the trend lines for Prop 33. The chart dips below $0 because of a negative value (likely a refund) of $10,000 on Dec. 22, 2011.


Prop 37: Labeling genetically engineered foods
The food-labeling prop has been extremely popular by at least two measures. For one, posts related to Prop 37 have been our most popular to date at Ballot Brief. At the same time, Prop 37 has received more individual donations than any other measure on the November ballot except for the proposed repeal of the death penalty repeal, Prop 34. Of course, many of the contributions in support have come from individuals and small donors. In August, the opposition campaign kicked into high gear, and their total receipts quickly dwarfed the supporters. On Tuesday alone, opponents of Prop 37 picked up nearly $2 million from major food companies including General Mills, Dole, Del Monte, Campbell Soup, Bumble Bee Foods, Sara Lee, Godiva Chocolatier, Kraft, and Land O'Lakes, among others. Here are the trend lines (again, the Y-axis dips below $0 because of small negative line item -- this time just $100 on June 30, 2012).

Prop 38: Molly Munger's Tax for Education
Prop 38 is another measure whose campaign is bankrolled by its proponent. Wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger has given nearly $20 million of her own money in a bid to pass her own tax measure to fund education, which competes almost directly with one supported by Gov. Jerry Brown. Munger dropped another $1.2 million into the campaign coffers on Tuesday. Here's what the trend lines look like for Prop 38:

Keep checking back for more updates as we dig deeper into the data.

About the Author

Web Editor for SoCal Connected, KCET's award-winning television newsmagazine. He has worked in just about every medium, with stories appearing on TV, radio, Web, and print. He is also the editor of the Online Journalism Review at ...
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First, Prop. 32 eliminates the union’s voice completely. Only unions collect dues through payroll deductions NOT corporations. There is a system with in every union that governs the tiny percent of the dues that go to politics and every member has the right to opt out. However, The language in Prop. 32 continues to state that even if money is collected through voluntary practices the union cannot use the money for any political purpose or communicate with their members regarding politics. Second the language of prop. 32 states it will stop pay to play. It only stops it during the bidding process, than corporations can go back to giving moneys. It doesn’t stop Corporate Super PAC’s, Wal-Mart, which is not a corporation, Anti union Billionaire CEOs, or 501 4c non profits that don’t even have to report to the FFC who gave them money. Even the Chamber of Commerce can give unlimited amounts of money to their special interests. Let’s talk Chamber of Commerce, their attorneys and members attend every MSHA, OSHA or CAL OSHA hearing I have every attended fighting to stop or repeal health and safety laws that protect workers. Yeah , that’s the folks I want to decide my working conditions and pay.