Corporation-Backed Ballot Initiative Campaigns Spent More than $335 Million, Won 62% of Races Where One Side Was Mostly Funded by Corporate Interests

Nov. 9, 2016

Corporation-Backed Ballot Initiative Campaigns Spent More than $335 Million, Won 62% of Races Where One Side Was Mostly Funded by Corporate Interests

Out of 37 ballot initiative races in 17 states where at least one side was mostly funded by corporations and business interests, the corporation-backed side was victorious in 23 (62%).

In races where the corporation-backed side faced opposition, the corporation-backed side outspent that opposition by an average of 33-to-1.

The campaign that attracted the largest amount of corporate money was the pharmaceutical industry-backed effort against Proposition 61 in California (which sought to lower prescription drug prices). That campaign raised more than $109 million from the industry, outspending its nonprofit opposition 5-to-1. Not counting campaigns where corporate interests backed ballot initiatives unopposed, the greatest disparity between a corporate-backed campaign and a non-corporate opposition was in Massachusetts, where casino interests amassed a war chest to support Question 1 (authorizing a new gambling facility expansion) 480 times greater than their opponents, but ultimately were defeated.

View the full report (PDF).

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