Main Page 
Secretary of State  - Political Reform Division
Single
Proposition Committees
Proposition
Summaries
Financing California's Statewide Ballot Measures: 
1996 Primary and General Elections
Multiple Proposition
Committees 


PREFACE AND SUMMARY
FINANCING CALIFORNIA’S STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES:
1996 PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS
 
Campaign Receipts And Expenditures Through December 31, 1996
 
This report by the Secretary of State summarizes campaign financing activity to qualify, support and oppose all of California’s statewide measures on the March 26, 1996 primary election ballot and the November 5, 1996 general election ballot. The time period of activity covered by the report begins when funds were first raised or spent to qualify, support or oppose a measure, and the period ends as of December 31, 1996.

 
There were 12 primary election ballot measures. Propositions 192 through 197 and Proposition 203 were placed on the ballot by the State Legislature, and Propositions 198 through 202 were initiatives.

 
There were 15 general election ballot measures. Propositions 204 through 206 were placed on the ballot by the State Legislature, and Propositions 207 through 218 were initiatives.
 

The report shows that, as of December 31, 1996, campaign contributions totaling $141,274,345 were raised to qualify, support and oppose all 27 measures on the primary and general election ballots. (This $141 million excludes transfers of more than $12 million among the committees identified in the report.)
 

Listed below are contributors of $500,000 or more to ballot measure committees (including transfers among the committees). The committees receiving contributions are underlined, followed by the identity of the contributor(s).
 

 
Californians for Yes on Proposition 203
Californians for Higher Education
$ 667,989 
Coalition Against Unfair Attorney Fees
Taxpayers Against Frivolous Lawsuits,
No on Prop 211 
$ 800,000 
Yes on Proposition 209, Sponsored by Californians
Against Discrimination and Preferences
California Republican Party
$ 997,034 
Californians Against Political Corruption 
California Public Interest Research Group
$ 3,765,276 
California Teachers Association Issues PAC
$ 602,150
Californians for Personal Responsibility
State Farm Mutual Automobile
$ 800,000 
Californians for Patient Rights, A Coalition of
Consumers, Doctors, Nurses, et al.
California State Council of Service Employees
International Union AFL-CIO
$ 572,554 
Californians for Medical Rights
Lewis, Peter
$ 500,000 
Soros, George
$ 550,000 
Consumers and Nurses for Patient Protection
California Nurses Association
$ 2,081,686 
California Nurses Association Initiative PAC
$ 1,146,527 
Yes on Proposition 217
California State Council of Service Employees
$ 507,000 
California Teachers Association Issues PAC
$ 2,158,300 
Californians for Jobs, Not More Taxes
California Business PAC
$ 635,242 
Taxpayers Against Frivolous Lawsuits, No on
Prop 211
$ 1,750,000 
Yes on 218
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
$ 572,069 
Alliance to Revitalize California
Baccarat Electronics, Inc.
$ 700,000 
Cisco Systems, Inc.
$ 650,000 
Intel Corporation
$ 600,000 
J.P. Morgan Services, Inc. (Loan)
$ 2,463,118 
Packard, David
$ 700,000 
Taxpayers Against Frivolous Lawsuits, No on Prop 211
$ 700,000 
California Business PAC
Taxpayers Against Frivolous Lawsuits, No
on Prop 211
$ 666,500 
Citizens for Retirement Protection and Security
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine
$ 612,384 
Lerach, William S.
$ 1,000,000 
Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach
$ 4,794,966 
Weiss & Yourman
$ 1,045,734 
Frivolous Lawsuit Reform, Yes on 207
California Defense Council Issues PAC
$ 775,000 
Taxpayers Against Frivolous Lawsuits, No on 211
Alliance to Revitalize California
$ 1,075,001 
Arthur Andersen & Co.
$ 1,161,537 
Coopers & Lybrand LLP
$ 1,160,337 
Deloitte & Touche LLP
$ 1,162,894 
Ernst & Young LLP
$ 1,169,136 
Intel Corporation
$ 599,516 
KPMG Peat Marwick LLP
$ 1,179,084 
Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
$ 509,921 
News America Publishing Inc.
$ 500,000 
Price Waterhouse LLP
$ 1,160,337 
Securities Industry Association California
Initiative Committee
$ 2,610,000 
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
$ 500,000 
Taxpayers Against the Government Takeover,
A Coalition of Nurses et al.
California Healthcare Committee on Issues
$ 1,919,389
Californiacare Health Plans
$ 660,499 
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
$ 1,335,000 
 

The information in the following report is derived from campaign disclosure statements filed with the Secretary of State, pursuant to the Political Reform Act of 1974, by committees formed to qualify, support or oppose one or more of the ballot measures. The report is divided into three sections.
 

The first section of the report, Proposition Summaries , provides an overview of grand total receipts and expenditures to support and oppose each ballot measure. (Note: Total expenditures or "costs" identified in the report include accrued expenses and in-kind contributions received in connection with each measure.)
 

The second section of the report, Single Proposition Committees , identifies those campaign committees that were primarily formed to raise and spend funds to support or oppose a specific ballot measure. Also included is an itemization of all contributions of $10,000 or more received by each committee. Important Note: This section of the report identifies only those committees that were active in connection with a single proposition. Committees active in connection with multiple ballot measures are identified in the final section of the report.
 

The third and final section of the report, Multiple Proposition Committees , identifies those campaign committees that raised or spent funds in connection with multiple ballot measures. Also included is an itemization of all contributions of $10,000 or more received by each committee.
 

As noted previously, a grand total of $141,274,345 was raised to qualify, support and oppose all 27 measures on the primary and general election ballots in 1996. Unfortunately, the Political Reform Act failed to provide voters and the general public with satisfactory information about how this $141 million was apportioned among different propositions. Also, the disclosure law failed to produce satisfactory information about the identities of contributors who supported or opposed specific propositions.
 

The most fundamental purpose of the Political Reform Act is to provide full and effective disclosure of campaign receipts and expenditures in order to ensure an informed electorate. This means that the public should be informed about how much money is raised and spent to support and oppose each ballot measure. However, the first section of the report shows that it is impossible to determine the total amount of money raised and spent in connection with a majority of propositions on the ballot in 1996.
 

In addition, an informed electorate should be able to identify the sources of campaign contributions to support and oppose each ballot measure. Some of this information is presented in the second section of the report. However, many ballot measure committees, including those that raised the largest sums, cannot be included in the second section of the report because these committees were active in connection with multiple measures. Consequently, the financial activities of these committees cannot be correlated with any particular measure. In turn, the sources of contributions to these committees cannot be linked to any specific measure.
 

Figure1 portrays the seriousness of the Political Reform Act’s failure to inform the electorate about the financing of ballot measure campaigns in 1996. Of the $141 million in total contributions raised in connection with all 27 measures, Figure 1 shows that $93 million (66% of the total) cannot be correlated with any specific measure. In other words, the sources of two-thirds of all the money raised in connection with 1996 propositions cannot be linked with the specific measure that the contributor either supported or opposed.
 

The disclosure of campaign financing for ballot measures collapsed in 1996 because numerous campaign committees simultaneously supported and opposed multiple propositions. Some of these committees raised and spent huge sums (ranging from several million dollars to more than $40 million for a single committee), transferred large amounts back and forth among each other (totaling more than $12 million), and were active in connection with many measures (sometimes exceeding a dozen) at the same time.
 

In short, the heart of the problem in 1996 was that the complex, multiple-measure activities of several large campaign committees made it impossible to determine exactly (or even approximately) what these committees were doing in connection with different measures. This fact is the reason that it is impossible to calculate the total amount of campaign funds raised and spent to support or oppose a majority of the propositions. In addition, the inability to distinguish a committee’s activities between different measures results in an inability to determine the purpose for which contributors made their contributions to that committee (i.e., which measure the contributor supported or opposed).
 

The failure of campaign disclosure in 1996 is unprecedented in California’s history. Since 1921, when the first state law was adopted to require financial disclosure of ballot measure campaigns, detailed records have been filed with the Secretary of State. Although these filings never have produced perfect financial disclosure (perfection, of course, being unrealistic and unnecessary), the filings always have provided the public with reasonably good information about the amounts and sources of campaign money raised and spent to support and oppose specific propositions. That is, until 1996.
 

Secretary of State Bill Jones has sponsored legislation in response to the failure of campaign disclosure in 1996. This legislation - AB 1336, authored by Assemblyman Edward Vincent, Chairman of the Assembly Elections and Reapportionment Committee - is designed to give the public the ability to determine how much money is raised and spent to support and oppose each ballot measure, and to ascertain the sources of campaign contributions to support and oppose each measure.
 

The intent of AB 1336 is to prevent the breakdown of campaign disclosure in 1996 from being a harbinger. If 1996 marks the beginning of a trend to finance ballot measure campaigns with committees that raise and spend huge sums to simultaneously support and oppose multiple propositions, the goal of informing the electorate about the role of money in these campaigns will continue to be thwarted.

 


If you have questions or comments regarding the content in this page,
please feel free to send them by email to PoliticalReform@ss.ca.gov
Please report any technical or formatting problems to the Webmaster.

CA Secretary of State 
Political Reform Division 
©1997