Prop Party 2010: Follow the Money
Our little community here in San Diego is having another Prop Party this week - where each guest comes prepared to present the Pros and Cons for one Proposition on the CA ballot. It’s fun, it’s educational, and we all walk out as smarter voters.
It’s hard to know how to read these initiatives - the arguments for and against can both be convincing, and there’s lots of money spent on ads from organizations with generic names like ‘Concerned Citizens of California.’ So: besides presenting for both sides, each participant is asked to follow the money. Sometimes an initiative seems fair on the surface, until you find out it’s supported by one crackpot billionaire in Wichita and opposed by ten thousand honest California citizens.
Here are two simple ways to follow the money on the propositions.
- See the top 5 contributors for each Prop here: http://www.calvoter.org/voter/elections/2010/general/props/index.html
- Those top 5 can be listed by organization or committee, so sometimes it’s useful to see the individuals who contributed to the organizations. For instance, I found that one of the contributors in support of Prop 21 is a Venture Capitalist and General Manager at Zynga, the company that makes Farmville on Facebook. You can drill down to individual contributions here: http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Measures/
- Pro tip: downloading the Excel version is easier to read than the online display.
Go forth, read up, and educate your vote!