The ballot measure cash bonanza is ramping up

The big money already is flowing hot and heavy for and against this November’s ballot measures. Among some of the larger recent contributions:

    Colorado-based Focus on the Family last Thursday gave $250,000 to the campaign for the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage; the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign a week earlier had anted up $200,000 to oppose it.
    San Jose-based Planned Parenthood Mar Monte on Tuesday put $700,000 into the Campaign for Teen Safety, which will oppose the proposed constitutional amendment requiring parental notification for teen abortions.
    San Diego County-based Armstrong Farms Inc. laid a $50,221 egg last Friday for Californians for Sound Animal Agriculture, which was formed to oppose the “Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” an initiative that would prohibit confining farm animals in tiny spaces; a day earlier, New York-based Farm Sanctuary Inc. had given $50,000 to support that initiative.
    Arizona businessman Peter Sperling — number 317 on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans last year — on June 9 put another $1.2 million into Californians for Solar and Clean Energy, the committee that’s backing a measure to require all California utilities to produce more electricity from solar and clean energy resources: 20% by 2010, 40% by 2020, and 50% by 2025. That’s on top of $1.8 million he’d given the committee earlier.

To review, 11 propositions have qualified for the November ballot: a measure to reform legislative redistricting; a high-speed rail bond; a measure relating to the treatment of farm animals; a children’s hospital bond; a parental notification for abortion measure; a measure involving the sentencing of nonviolent offenders; a measure regarding increased criminal penalties and public safety funding; a measure creating renewable energy generation requirements for utilities; a measure that would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as “between a man and a woman;” a measure involving victims’ rights in the criminal justice system; and a bond measure for alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy. More may be on the way.

And a lot of campaign consultants are going to make a lot of money.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.