Money and measures

How much money is being spent on ballot initiatives?

On Oct. 31, just before the Nov. 6 election, at a time when the controversy surrounding $11 million in Arizonan “mystery money” was at its peak, California Common Sense released a report analyzing ballot-measure spending-data trends for the previous decade, from 2000 through May 2012. Here are some of its findings:

Total amount spent on propositions: $2.3 billion

Amount spent on top five ballot measures: $556 million (25 percent of total)

Percentage of donations smaller than $1,000: 2.3 percent

Amount of donations average ballot measure attracted: $13.5 million

Amount six measures regulating industry taxes attracted: $307 million

Number of donors who contributed at least $1.5 million: 185

Percentage of donated money that came from outside California: 17

Source: California Common Sense,