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Campaign Donations For California Initiatives Reach More Than $450 Million


There's a new record for campaign spending on propositions in California: more than $450 million, when you add up donations to campaigns on both sides of the 17 statewide ballot measures.

Bob Stern is the retired President of the Center For Governmental Studies. He says several special interests have significant financial interests in this election.

"Tobacco companies are spending huge amounts against the tobacco tax, the hospitals are spending a huge amount in terms of supporting prop 52, the Medi-Cal reimbursement and drug companies are spending lots of money against the prescription drug measure 61," says Stern.

Stern says negative campaigns are often more effective than positive campaigns because negative campaigns convince some people to vote no, but also can cause confusion, which also can turn into a no vote.

"The broadcaster's love these things because they have to pay the highest unit rate for these ads. But, more and more people are cutting their ties to television and using the mobile devices. So, what we will see you the next few years as a shift in the way the advertising appears. It will be more on your mobile devices as opposed to television radio."

He says there likely won't be as much campaign advertising on television or for-profit radio stations in the future.

Public radio stations, like Capital Public Radio, do not sell air time to political campaigns.

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