Proposition 61, an initiative that’s intended to lower pharmaceutical prices paid by the state, has turned out to be one of the most expensive proposition battles ever fought in California as prescription drug companies are throwing more money at defeating this initiative than has ever been collected by one side in a ballot fight.
When Bisbee, Arizona banned single-use plastic bags in 2014, leaders in the plastics industry worried Bisbee had sparked a trend. So they did what corporate lobbyists do in a reliably conservative state: They persuaded legislators and the governor to declare bans like Bisbee’s illegal.
The old-school image of a rock star was a guy smoking a cigarette, and Tris Imboden was that guy. As the drummer for the band Chicago for the past quarter-century, or on the road with Kenny Loggins or Chaka Khan, smokes were just part of what it meant to be a musician. What it meant to be cool.
It’s been 105 years since California voters were granted, by a progressive governor and his forward-thinking allies, the right to make laws at the ballot box. We were not the first to gain the privilege; 11 states got there first. Today 24 states allow for direct legislation, which they exercise with varying degrees of intensity when the need arises.
A snapshot of some of this election year’s high-rolling corporate donors.
This week Capital & Main examines several of the 17 voter initiatives, taking a hard look at corporate influence over California’s ballot-box legislation.