As we’ve noted in this space, initiatives are very popular this year and likely will equal the modern record set 10 years ago. The folks over at the Public Disclosure Commission, which tracks contributions and spending by supporters and foes of ballot measures, report that as of mid-July, over $10 million has been raised and over $9 million spent, much of it to pay for signature-gathering.
In an analysis presented to the Public Disclosure Commission, staffer Tony Perkins traced the large flow of big-dollar contributions from well-heeled interests. His conclusion:
“The citizen initiative was once seen as a remedy for the domination of industry and other powerful interests over the legislative process. Today, contribution and expenditure reports filed with the PDC reveal that these same well‐funded interests—corporations, unions, trade and professional associations—use paid signature gatherers to accomplish their goals.”