Propositions on 2004 Ballot May Shatter State’s All-Time Combined Spending Record

Campaign spending on the 16 California ballot propositions in Tuesday’s election is poised to break the state’s all-time record of $196 million, set in 1998. The five health care related measures (Propositions 61, 63, 67, 71, and 72) represent more than a third of that, having raised a combined total of nearly $73 million as of October 23 and spent nearly $60 million thus far. Television advertising accounted for the majority (63 percent) of expenditures to date for the health care related measures. With more than $13 million left to spend before Election Day, voters can expect that trend to continue with TV ads on all measures airing non-stop this weekend.

Unlike earlier in the campaign season, TV ads are now being broadcast by all five health care ballot measure committees. While Californians are only seeing ads in support of Props. 61, 63, and 71, the two sides battling over Props. 67 and 72 are dueling with frequent “Yes” and “No” TV ads.

Most of the contributions (70 percent) to the health care measures continue to come from organizational donors; seven of the ten biggest donors are corporations, associations or labor unions. SBC remains the highest donor overall to the five health related measures, with over $5.6 million contributed to the campaign against Prop. 67. Labor unions are battling corporations over Prop. 72. The California Restaurant Association has donated $3.4 million to oppose the health care referendum while the Service Employees Union has countered with nearly $3.1 million in contributions and the California Teachers Association with more than $1 million donated in favor of Prop. 72.

Over 80% of the funds raised for the health care measures have come from California corporations, labor unions, associations, and individuals. More than 90% of the funds are from contributors who have given more than $100,000.

Prop. 72 has overtaken Prop. 71 as the most expensive measure, with a total of $26,297,737 raised and $18,124,369 spent in favor and against the referendum. Prop. 71 has raised a combined total of $23,388,247, with just $283,000 contributed to the “No on 71” campaign.

Individual Health Care Propositions

Prop. 61: Funding for Children’s Hospital Projects Little has changed for the Prop. 61 campaign since early October’s campaign finance filing. Proposition 61 proponents have collected over $5 million and no contributions are reported from opponents. All the money contributed thus far has come from organizational donors, and all funds are from California sources, primarily from children’s hospitals that would be the chief beneficiaries if the measure passes.

Prop. 63: Funding for Expansion of Mental Health Services

Proponents of Proposition 63 have contributed nearly $1 million additional since October 5, raising a total of over $4.4 million, with opponents reporting only $10,000 additional gifts, for $16,000 total. Nearly all the funds received–94 percent–are from California, with 88 percent contributed by organizational donors. While individuals and groups gave $340,206 in contributions of under $1,000, contributors of $100,000 or more donated nearly half the funds (49 percent). The top ten donors include mental health agencies, labor organizations, and an Indian tribe.

Prop. 67: Funding for Uncompensated Emergency Services

Proposition 67 is one of two measures that has seen significant funds raised both for and against the proposition; the proponents have collected $5.1 million and the opponents $8.5 million. The distribution for the additional $1.5 million received mirrors earlier reports with nearly all the funds coming from organizational donors (98 percent), the majority of which (90 percent) are located in California. The top contributors in favor of the measure are groups that represent hospitals and emergency physicians, while the telecommunications and telephone companies have funded the opponents.

Prop. 71: Funding and Regulating Stem Cell Research

The supporters of Proposition 71 have collected $7 million in the last three weeks, raising more than $23 million altogether, while the opponents have raised nearly $283,000, about 1 percent of the proponents’ total. Most of the money has come from Californians (81 percent) while individual donors account for 90 percent of the funds. The vast majority of the funds (90 percent) has been given in large gifts from donors of $100,000 or more. Robert Klein and the Klein Financial Corporation have combined for over $2.6 million in contributions; other major individual donors include Ann and John Doerr, who have each contributed $1,987,325. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund has donated $1 million. In contrast, the opponents’ largest contributions come from Focus on the Family ($52,476) and two $50,000 donations made by Fieldstead and Company and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Actor Mel Gibson has just joined the “No on 71” campaign.

Prop. 72: Referendum Concerning the Health Insurance Act of 2003 (SB 2)

Both sides of Proposition 72 have collected large sums of money, but the opponents have outraised the supporters: contributions of nearly $15 million have been collected by the “No” campaign (compared to $8 million on October 5), while more than $11.5 million ($5 million on October 5) has gone to the supporters. Most of the funds received by the supporters came from California groups (78 percent) while the opponents have received 76 percent of their funds from California organizations. Approximately 2 percent of the money for either side has come from individuals. The majority of funds for both sides has come from donors of $100,000 or more: 76 percent for the supporters and 59 percent for the opponents. Labor dominates the contributions to the supporters while restaurants and retail companies have contributed the most to the opponents. The California State Council of Service Employees Issue Committee has given $3,031,879, the California Teachers Association PAC has contributed $1,057,696, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has contributed $1 million to the “Yes” side. The California Restaurant Association has donated $3,405,000 to the “No” side.

For more information about the health care ballot measures, visit is a joint project of the California HealthCare Foundation and the Center for Governmental Studies. It provides non-partisan, detailed information about this November’s five health-related ballot propositions. Neither CHCF nor CGS takes a position on any of the ballot measures. Our partnership for this project reflects both organizations’ interest in using information technology and the Internet to help voters make informed decisions.

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.