The alcoholic beverage industry has made a clear investment in support of Prop 26, a ballot initiative that would raise the vote threshold required for the legislature to pass any fees or levies on specific industries. By redefining these fees as taxes, it would require a two-thirds majority vote for them to become law.
Below is an analysis of contributions to groups supporting and opposing Prop 26 from June 3, 2009, the earliest recorded contribution, to Oct. 5, 2010, the most recent filing deadline. Contributions data comes from the California Secretary of State Web site.
Contributions to entities campaigning in support of Prop 26 total over $8.2 million and have come largely from the pro-business group California Chamber of Commerce, followed by large interests such as alcoholic and other beverage producers, oil companies and restaurant groups. Each of these groups would gain protection against fees and levies, should the proposition pass, according to the California Voter Information Guide.
A collection of unions as well as progressive groups have put money towards opposing Prop 26, however supporting money ($8.2 million) outpaces the opposition total ($1.2 million) by a ratio of nearly 7 to 1. (NOTE: $150,000 of the money given to campaigns opposing Prop 26 have come from a group called A.L.L.E.R.T. To date, MAPLight.org has not found any information on this organization, and so they have not been categorized.)
Includes contributions data to groups in support and opposition to Prop 26 for the 2009-2010 election cycle, filed through 10/05/10. Contributions data source California Secretary of State.