Proposition 23 Likely To Become Midterm's Most Expensive Ballot Measure
Though states have not reported final campaign spending figures yet, it's likely California's Proposition 23, which would have suspended the state's landmark environmental legislation, beat out every other measure in the nation in terms of spending.
Historically, California has led the way in ballot measure expenditures. The common theme in the most expensive of the bunch is that they all have something to do with energy.
Information that the National Institute on Money in State Politics has collected so far shows nearly $38.5 million was spent on either side of the proposition--$29 million against it and just $9 million in favor. California's Proposition 24 came in second among November measures, raising $24.3 across both sides.
The eight most expensive ballot measures this year--in primary or general elections--are all from California, according to the institute. Proposition 16, which was on the June primary ballot, was actually more expensive than Prop. 23. A total of $46.7 million was spent fighting for or against the measure that would have made it tougher for cities to enter into the business of selling electricity.
The ballot measure spending record in a single state election was set during the last midterm election in 2006. Donors that year spent $333 million for and against 13 propositions on California's midterm election ballot. The total for 2010, as of now, is $206 million.
Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, set a national record for most money spent on ballot measure involving a social issue. In 2006, Proposition 87 set the spending record for any California proposition. A combined $154.3 was spent on the failed measure to tax oil production.