State Capitol News
11:24 pm
Thu August 21, 2008

Ballot Campaigns Spending Big Bucks

Phoenix, AZ – It's only August. But Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports various groups already are spending big bucks to try to convince you to support their ballot measures.

At the top of the heap is the $9 million spent so far by payday
lenders to keep them in business after 2010. Without the change,
their stores go away. But some other proposals already have spending in the seven-digit range. For example, Arizona Realtors
have put $2.4 million into a campaign to constitutionally
prohibit the state from taxing the sale of real estate, a levy
that doesn't even exist. Supporters of a constitutional ban on
gay marriage have collected at least $1.3 million while foes so
far have less than $8,000. A plan to require a majority vote of
everyone registered to raise taxes and spending -- not just those
who actually go to the polls -- has $1 million in donations, the
majority from the company that owns the Carl's Jr. franchises in
Arizona.

Various others businesses have ponied up nearly $525,000
to convince voters to dilute some provisions of the state's new
employer sanctions law. And construction companies are helping to
finance a proposal to hike state sales taxes for road and mass
transit projects. The record was set in 2002 when Indian tribes
spent more than $21 million to let them keep the right to operate
casino style gaming -- and keep everyone else out.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.