Most Expensive “Social Issue” Ballot Measure Ever
Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies Library says the combatants in the California battle over Prop 8 have raised formidable war-chests:
Nearly $60 million has been raised on both sides of the debate. According to the Los Angeles Times, as of Friday, “supporters of Proposition 8 had raised $27.5 million, with about 19% of the money coming from outside California. Opponents have raised $31.2 million, with 34% of the money coming from outside the state.”
The total money raised by both sides makes the fight over Prop 8 the most costly ballot measure anywhere in the country this year, and, according to the Associated Press, the most expensive “social issue” ballot measure ever. Prop 8 is also by far the costliest same-sex marriage ballot fight. The non-partisan National Institute on Money in State Politics calculates that between 2004 and 2006, when 22 same-sex-marriage bans appeared on state ballots nationwide, the total money raised among all 22 measures was $31.4 million.
Andy Towle notes that recent donations to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign show “frightening” financial gains for gay marriage ban supporters. He asks that we please read the updates he’s posted on the battle just SINCE Friday.
Indeed the Berkeley post points out that even though opponents of same-sex-marriage bans out-fundraised their opponents in every race between 2004 and 2006 (except in Tennessee):
…the real story here is that those bans still passed in every state except Arizona. And in Arizona, the same-sex marriage ban is back on the ballot this year, in the form of Proposition 102.
Thus far, supporters of Prop 102 have out-fundraised opponents by a 17-to-1 margin.