Proposition 60’s decisive, 54-46 percent loss was equal parts surprising and depressing to its backers, particularly the Hollywood-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which had put the initiative on the ballot.
California voters on Tuesday approved state Proposition 56 by an overwhelming 63-37 percent margin to create a new excise tax of $2 per pack on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The margin of victory was a shock: Similar ballot initiatives failed in 2012 and 2006, and tobacco companies spent $71 million to blitz the state with dramatic advertising urging a No vote.
With financial backing from law enforcement groups, the California death penalty is not only preserved, but will be sped up for inmates awaiting execution.
On Tuesday California said no to the plastics lobby’s wish list. Proposition 67 passed with 52 percent affirming the law banning the bags. Proposition 65 failed, with 51 percent rejecting the redirection of bag fees. It was precisely the result environmental groups, grocers and unions had pushed for.
The avalanche of money that rolled in from pharmaceutical drug companies to beat back the challenge to their bottom lines posed by Proposition 61 dwarfed the money contributed to the Yes on 61 effort, which still ran into the millions.