California Proposition 89, Public Funding for Political Campaigns (2006)
The measure was designed to give eligible candidates public funding for political campaigns, and to put limits on contributions for political campaigns.
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Should eligible candidates for state elective offices receive public campaign funding that is supported by new taxes on corporations and financial institutions, and should contribution limits be imposed on those candidates who do not receive public campaign funding?"
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 89 said:
- Provides that candidates for state elective office meeting certain eligibility requirements, including collection of a specified number of $5.00 contributions from voters, may voluntarily receive public campaign funding from Fair Political Practices Commission, in amounts varying by elective office and election type.
- Increases income tax rate on corporations and financial institutions by 0.2 percent to fund program.
- Imposes new limits on campaign contributions to state-office candidates and campaign committees, and new restrictions on contributions by lobbyists, state contractors.
- Limits certain contributions and expenditures by corporations.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- "Increased revenues (primarily from increased taxes on corporations and financial institutions) totaling more than $200 million annually. The funds would be spent on the public financing of political campaigns for state elected officials."
The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 89 were signed by:
- Deborah Burger, R.N., president, California Nurses Association
- Harvey Rosenfield, founder, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
- Susan Lerner, executive director, California Clean Money Campaign
- Jacqueline Jacobberger, president, League of Women Voters of California
- Richard L. Hasen, J.D., Ph.D., constitutional election law professor
- Kathay Feng, executive director, California Common Cause
Arguments in favor
Supporters of Proposition 89 argued that in Proposition 89 was enacted, it would:
- "Help level the playing field and make our elections more fair and competitive—so that candidates with the best ideas have a chance to win, even if they are not rich or well connected to wealthy special interest groups and lobbyists."
- "Require candidates to adhere to strict spending limits and reject special interest contributions in order to qualify for public financing.
- "Ban contributions to candidates by lobbyists and state contractors."
- "Set limits on outside, so-called “independent” campaign committees created by big contributors to influence elections."
- "Limit to $10,000 the amount corporations can spend directly on ballot measure campaigns."
- "Restrict contributions by corporations, unions, and individuals to $500 for candidates for state Legislature, $1,000 to candidates for statewide office."
- "Establish tough penalties, including jail time and removing candidates from office who break the law."
$5,799,497 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 89.
Donors of $100,000 or more were:
|California Nurses Association||$4,988,153|
|Stephen M. Silberstein||$100,000|
|Herbert M. Sandler||$100,000|
The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 89 were signed by:
- Allan Zaremberg, president, California Chamber of Commerce
- Tony Quinn, former commissioner, California Fair Political Practices Commission
- Larry McCarthy, president, California Taxpayers Association
- Betty Jo Toccolli, chair, California Small Business Roundtable
- James M. Hall, former chair, California Fair Political Practices Commission
Arguments made in opposition to Proposition 89 in the official voter guide included:
- "Proposition 89 was put on the ballot by a single special interest group, the California Nurses Association, that wants an UNFAIR advantage in California elections while small businesses and individuals are effectively SHUT OUT of the political process. Even other labor organizations like those representing teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement do not support Proposition 89, because it RESTRICTS their participation in the political process as well."
- "The authors of Proposition 89 say they are trying to stop big corporations from having too much influence. But, Proposition 89 restricts many small businesses from backing candidates or supporting and opposing initiatives. Even a mom-and-pop business, if it is incorporated like many are, is restricted under Proposition 89."
- "Proposition 89 also restricts many nonprofit groups that want to educate voters about the issues they care about. For example, a group of crime victim advocates will be limited in warning voters about a candidate who is soft on crime. Teachers will be limited in helping elect candidates who will support improving our schools."
- "Proposition 89 contains a $200 MILLION TAX INCREASE and gives that money to politicians to spend on their negative TV ads and junk mail."
- "Proposition 89 places virtually no limits on how the politicians spend their taxpayer-financed campaign funds. It means that we, the taxpayers, will be paying for their negative ads!"
$5,693,511 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "no" vote on Proposition 89.
Donors of $150,000 or more were:
|California Chamber of Commerce||$395,000|
|California Hospital Association||$300,000|
|California Business Roundtable||$250,000|
|California Teachers Association||$200,000|
|State Farm Insurance||$195,000|
|Anthem Blue Cross||$195,000|
|California Building Industry Association||$150,000|
Path to the ballot
- See also: California signature requirements
As an initiated state statute, 373,816 valid signatures were required to qualify Proposition 89 for the ballot.
- Official California Voter Pamphlet information about Proposition 89
- PDF of the mailed November 7, 2006 voter guide for Proposition 89
- Proposition 89 in the Smart Voter Guide
- Analysis of Proposition 89 from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 89 from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against 89 from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 89 from Follow The Money
- Official declaration of the November 7, 2006 results on ballot propositions