As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SEIU Money Drops Into No on 1A

The SEIU donated $500,000 to the No on 1A campaign, the first truly major expenditure by any group against the ballot measures on May 19. The No on 1A campaign now hold about $1 million in their bank account. While this is dwarfed by the money dumped into the Yes campaign by, among other groups, the CTA, billionaires like Jerry Perenchio, and Chevron, given the attitudes of the electorate even a little money on the No side could be enough to stop the onslaught and tip these measures. Politicos understand this fairly well:

"It just got a lot harder," said Dan Schnur, director of the University of Southern California's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and a former Republican strategist.

"The biggest advantage the proponents have had all along is the lack of a well-funded opposition," Schnur said. "Historically, you don't need to outspend ballot measures to beat them, and in a low-turnout election this is a decent amount of money." [...]

"Right now there's a tremendous tendency to reject anything out of Sacramento," said Republican strategist Dave Gilliard.

Good for the SacBee, by the way, for pointing out that Prop. 1A "has a long-term impact and would not directly alter the budget until 2011."

I've been speaking at a lot of grassroots Democratic groups against these measures, purely on the public policy merits, and the overriding sentiment I'm seeing out there lines up with what Dave Gilliard says there. The disconnect between the establishment and the grassroots is truly striking. People don't feel like their concerns have been met, either this year or for the last thirty, really. They see another layer of budget dysfunction forced upon the voters that fails to get at the structural problems. And now, they're starting to see their voices manifested with action, as well as the mother's milk of California politics, money.

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