Proposition 212

Campaign Contributions and Spending Limits. Repeals Gift and Honoraria Limits. Restricts Lobbyists.

Initiative Statute.

Summary: Limits contributor's contributions per candidate per election to $200 for statewide offices, $100 for most other offices. Allows committees of small contributors 100 times this individual limit. Imposes spending limits. Prohibits more than 25% of contributions from outside district. Limits total contributions by committees and individuals. Limits fundraising to nine months before election. Bans contributions from businesses, unions, banks, and nonprofit corporations. Prohibits transfers between candidates. Prohibits tax deduction for lobbying expenses. Prohibits lobbyists from making/arranging contributions to those they influence. Requires disclosure of top contributors on ballot measure advertising.

Fiscal Impact: Costs of up to $4 million annually to state and local governments for implementation and enforcement; unknown, but probably not significant, state and local election costs. Increases state revenues by about $6 million by eliminating tax deduction for lobbying.

A YES vote on this measure means: Campaign contributions by an individual would be limited to $100 for state legislative and local offices and $200 for statewide offices. Mandatory campaign spending limits for state and local offices would be established; if the limits are invalidated by the courts, they would become voluntary. The spending limits for general elections would be $150,000 for state Assembly, $235,000 for state Senate, $1.75 million for statewide offices (other than Governor), and $5 million for Governor. Current restrictions on public officials receiving gifts and honoraria would be eliminated. Current tax deductions for lobbying expenses would be eliminated.

A NO vote on this measure means: There would continue to be no limits on political campaign contributions to candidates for state office. There would be no limits on the amounts of money that candidates, their campaign committees, or other support groups can spend in any state election. Local governments could establish their own campaign finance limits. Current restrictions on public officials receiving gifts and honoraria would be maintained. Lobbying expenses would remain tax deductible.

The State Ballot Pamphlet, published by the Secretary of State, features the text, fiscal analysis, and pro/con arguments.

Official Contact Information

Proponents: Tanya E. Africa
(805) 966-2726

Susan E. Rakov
(805) 962-5268

Contact in Support: Californians Against Political Corruption
11965 Venice Boulevard, Suite 408
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 397-3404

Contact in Opposition: Californians for Political Reform, A Committee Sponsored by League of Women Voters of California, American Association of Retired Persons-California (AARP), Common Cause and United We Stand America
926 J Street, Suite 910
Sacramento, CA 95814

Web Sites

Support: Californians Against Political Corruption

Opposition: Californians for Political Reform

Neutral: Citizens Research Foundation's Critique and Commentary

This initiative was placed on the ballot through petition of the voters.
Source information for this material is available.
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