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Ballot initiatives are definitely a major national thing

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

* Illinois isn’t alone by any means. From the Washington Post

In a midterm election season when control of the United States Senate hangs in the balance, Democrats are increasingly turning to ballot measures to get otherwise reluctant voters to the polls.

Big Business is, too: Some of the most expensive races in the country this year will be ballot measures written by, and for, major corporations. Some the hardest-fought ballot battles of 2014 won’t involve candidates at all. They’ll be questions that come with big implications for corporate bottom lines — or promise big benefits to political strategists, especially Democrats, looking to drive turnout for other races.

For the first time in history, spending on the approximately 125 ballot questions facing voters in 41 states is likely to top $1 billion in campaign spending this year — and perhaps much more: Oil and gas companies in Alaska spent more than $170 for every vote they won in a successful campaign to reject higher taxes earlier this month.

* Spending this year is expected to vastly exceed 2012’s billion dollars…

WaPo also has a great interactive map. Go check it out.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    If I were trying to boost Democratic chances:

    “Should corporations have the same Constitutional rights as actual, human citizens?”


  2. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    So, when are Democrats going to start demanding that people either vote or be fined?


  3. - Black Ivy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    I am heartened to learn of the national trend toward increased usage of ballot initiatives as I believe such voting proposals make the democratic process more accessible to your average citizen. Unfortunately, ballot initiatives are also susceptible to being advance for political fodder, but they are still valuable nonetheless.


  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Vanillaman:

    What is it about voter participation that so many Republicans find so threatening?

    Oh, I know: it upsets the oligarchic apple cart.

    But let’s at least be intellectually honest: conservatives attempted to get am advisory referendum on the ballot in 2012 to ban marriage equality.


  5. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    We have the best government money can buy….


  6. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    ===or promise big benefits to political strategists===

    If the ballot initiative is only advisory then I see the fight up to the vote as about all that is, in the end, important. On most major issues polling can give a fairly good reading of the voters at low cost to everyone concerned.


  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    I’m not against voter participation. You know me. I want everyone to vote. I believe in elections and voter decisions. I support direct democracy. I would love to see as high a turnout in elections as in many other countries with free elections.

    Democrats seem to believe that there is a magic bullet in their favor if everyone votes, so I was just wondering that instead of trying to entice citizens to vote, when will Democrats start passing a law making it mandatory?

    Then the argument could be that the GOP is opposed to voter participation since they are not in favor of mandatory voting.

    Mandatory voting. I’ve seen wilder things over the past decade, that is certain.


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