Prop 8 campaign expenditures and the emphasis by both sides on paid television advertising

Overall campaign spending and the emphasis on TV

No on 8 spent $43,027,785.59, of which $40,779,918.38 is recorded and available by category from the California secretary of state. Of the $40,779,918.38, 82% ($33,582,272.02) paid for TV ads or consultants whose main focus was paid TV advertising.

Yes on 8 spent $39,642,911, of which $38,322,850.94 is recorded and available by category from the secretary of state. Of the $38,322,850.94, 69% ($26,299,736.22) paid for TV ads or consultants whose main focus was paid TV advertising.

Above and beyond those amounts, No on 8 spent 3% of its budget (just under $1.2 million) on polling, which was used to create messages and TV ads. Yes on 8 spent 1% (just over $500,000) on polling.

After TV-related expenses, Yes on 8’s’s largest expenditure was mail and literature. Yes spent 10% of its budget on mail and literature, while No on 8 spent less than 1% on mail and literature.

Campaign Expenditures by Category

Category

Yes on 8/Protect Marriage

No on 8/Equality for All

 

Total Dollar Amount

% of Total

Total Dollar Amount

% of Total

TV

$26,299,736.22

68.6%

$33,582,272.02

82.4%

Mail

$4,157,331.32

10.8%

$436,498.79

1.1%

General Overhead

$2,343,579.89

6.1%

$2,005,578.03

4.9%

Additional Consultants & Legal Costs

$1,107,406.68

2.9%

$217,995.00

0.5%

Field

$1,567,020.07

4.1%

$1,043,832.84

2.6%

Signature Gathering

$1,082,553.08

2.8%

$0.00

0.0%

New Media/Web/ Earned Media Consultants

$844,273.09

2.2%

$1,402,341.93

3.4%

Polling

$501,041.63

1.3%

$1,187,430.15

2.9%

Print Media

$198,873.21

0.5%

$468,095.35

1.1%

Fundraising

$211,156.75

0.6%

$408,374.27

1.0%

Radio

$9,879.00

0.03%

0**

0.0%

Contributions

$0.00

0.0%

$27,500.00

0.1%

Totals*

$38,322,850.94

 

$40,779,918.38

 


* These are the totals according to the California secretary of state’s breakout of expenditures by each individual expenditure (http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1259396&session=2007&view=expenditures and http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1302592&session=2007). The two totals differ from the secretary of state's summary page, which lists the total Equality for All expenditures as $43,027,785.59 (http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1259396&session=2007) and the total Protect Marriage expenditures as $39,642,911 (http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1302592&session=2007). The totals are also off by insignificant amounts (under $500) after breaking out each expenditure into distinguishable categories.

** There are no identifiable Equality for All expenditures recorded for radio buys or production. TV and radio expenditures are not listed in separate categories. EFA ran radio ads during the last week of the campaign, but not before.

The Combined Spending of Yes on 8 and No on 8

Combined, No on 8 and Yes on 8 spent more than $82 million, making this one of the most expensive ballot measure campaigns ever on a social issue.

By comparison, other recent social issue campaigns in California—Proposition 22 (Definition of Marriage, 2000), Proposition 73 (Parental Notification for Abortion, 2005), Proposition 85 (Parental Notification for Abortion, 2006), and Proposition 4 (Parental Notification for Abortion, 2008)—raised and spent much less.


Proposition

Year

Issue

YES Expenditures

NO Expenditures

Prop 22

2000

Marriage

$7,028,840.18

$6,700,000

Prop 73

2005

Abortion

$2,300,000

$4,600,000

Prop 85

2006

Abortion

$3,797,275.46

$6,410,907.67

Prop 4

2008

Abortion

$2,527,222.27

$9,292,084.91

Prop 8

2008

Marriage

$39,642,911.00

$43,027,785.59

* With the exception of Proposition 73 and Prop 22 all expenditure numbers are based on the numbers provided by the secretary of state’s summary of each campaign’s main committee. Information on Proposition 73 was unavailable through the secretary of state and provided by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. Information on Prop 22 was incomplete from the secretary of state, and more complete information was provided by Reed & Davidson, LLP.

In the Proposition 22 campaign in March 2000, the pro-LGBT side (the No on Knight campaign) spent approximately $6.7 million while our opposition spent just over $7 million. In the three parental notification campaigns, according to the secretary of state and "Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California: Campaigns for Teen Safety Donations" the two sides combined spent less than $14 million. The “Cal-Access” section of the California Secretary of State website offers a searchable database on ballot measure inssues available at http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Measures/ .

No on 8 Outspent Yes on 8 by a Narrow Margin

No on 8 outspent Yes on 8. Specifically, No spent 109% of what Yes spent.

The No side had the spending advantage overall, but it was at a serious financial disadvantage at a particularly crucial time: when both sides were buying time for late September and early October and both were going on the air for the first time with paid TV ads. Yes on 8’s financial advantage at this point gave it an outsized opportunity to frame the entire campaign. The financial advantage and its implications are described in detail in the chronology below.

Also, both No and Yes were much closer to spending parity than has been the case in other recent ballot measures on social issues. The pro-choice side in all three parental notification initiatives in California outspent the opposition by a considerable margin. The pro-choice Planned Parenthood side spent as much as $9.3 million per campaign. The anti-choice side never spent more than $3.7 million per campaign.

The No on Prop 73 campaign spent 200% of what the Yes campaign spent.

The No on 85 campaign spent 168% of what the Yes campaign spent.

The No on 4 campaign spent 368% of what the Yes campaign spent.


Daily and Weekly Bank Balances of Both Campaigns

Using California secretary of state campaign finance disclosure information posted online, we have calculated the daily and weekly bank balances for Yes on 8 and No on 8 from May 1, 2008, through November 4, Election Day. We have itemized all contributions and expenditures exceeding $100,000 to illuminate the largest factors affecting the balances.

A campaign’s bank balance is a useful but imperfect indicator of the financial resources available at each point in the campaign season. The imperfections arise because it is frequently true, in many campaigns, that at some points the cash available to one or both campaigns is encumbered. For example, if a donor provides a large sum of money to a campaign for a restricted purpose, the campaign’s bank balance could make it look flush; yet at the same time, the campaign might be “broke”—broke in the sense that it has no discretionary funds available.

The charts that follow are therefore a starting point for understanding the financial pressure under which both sides operated, but they almost certainly understate those pressures at times.


Yes on 8 Account Balance:

05/01/2008–11/4/2008

Week

Date

Balance

Major Contribution/Expenditure

5/1/08

 

-$273,918.00

 

5/8/08

 

-$283,098.00

 

5/15/08

 

-$338,189.00

 

5/22/08

 

-$306,314.00

 

5/29/08

 

-$329,508.00

 

6/5/08

 

-$374,830.00

 

 

6/12/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Focus on the Family

6/12/08

 

-$102,857.00

 

6/19/08

 

-$237,092.00

 

6/26/08

 

-$198,227.00

 

7/3/08

 

-$153,946.00

 

7/10/08

 

-$113,660.00

 

7/17/08

 

-$152,779.00

 

 

7/21/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from American Families Association

7/24/08

 

$702,243.00

 

 

7/30/08

 

- $100,300.00 to Lawrence Research for Polling

7/31/08

 

$1,282,197.00

 

 

8/6/08

 

+ $150,000.00 from Dorothy Nielson

 

8/6/08

 

- $119,241.98 to Valley Press for Mass Media

 

8/7/08

 

+ $200,000.00 from Elsa Prince

 

8/7/08

 

- $353,200.97 to Candidates Outdoor Graphics for Signs

8/7/08

 

$2,174,346.00

 

 

8/12/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Donald Laws

 

8/12/08

 

+ $125,000.00 from Pacific Shores Masonry

 

8/13/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Elsa Prince

 

8/14/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from Knights of Columbus

8/14/08

 

$5,118,015.00

 

 

8/18/08

 

+ $450,000.00 from John Templeton

 

8/19/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Stephen Samuelian

8/21/08

 

$7,387,163.00

 

 

8/25/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Fieldstead and Co.

 

8/26/08

 

- $142,056.17 to Valley Press for Mass Mail

 

8/27/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Fieldstead and Co.

8/28/08

 

$9,410,923.00

 

 

9/2/08

 

- $3,260,794.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for broadcast advertising

 

9/2/08

 

- $257,200.83 to Candidates Outdoor Graphics for signs

9/4/08

 

$8,540,758.00

 

 

9/9/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Kelvin Moss

 

9/10/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Matthew Wheelwright

9/11/08

 

$11,553,028.00

 

 

9/15/08

 

- $727,248.00 to Marketing Communication Services for broadcast advertisement

 

9/17/08

 

- $140,848.71.00 to Valley Press for mass mail

 

9/18/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from NOM

9/18/08

 

$12,062,858.00

 

 

9/19/08

 

- $178,600.42 to Candidates Outdoor Graphics for signs

 

9/19/08

 

- $178,600.42 to Candidates Outdoor Graphics for misc.

 

9/19/08

 

- $100,000.00 to CA Voter Guide for slate mailer

 

9/22/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from ECCU

 

9/22/08

 

- $899,892.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for broadcast advertisements

 

9/22/08

 

- $200,000.00 to Connell Donatelli for Web site

 

9/23/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Joseph Moran

 

9/23/08

 

- $126,000.00 to Valley Press for postage

 

9/24/08

 

+ $300,000.00 from Fieldstead

 

9/24/08

 

- $193,029.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for broadcast advertisements

 

9/25/08

 

+ $409,000 from Concerned Women for America

9/25/08

 

$12,346,131.00

 

 

9/30/08

 

- $890,263.98 to Marketing Comm Serv for production costs

 

9/30/08

 

- $266,667.00 to Church Communication Network for conference

10/2/08

 

$11,548,850.00

 

 

10/6/08

 

- $5,039,249.94 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/8/08

 

- $100,000.00 to Church Communication Networks for conference

10/9/08

 

$6,265,121.00

 

 

10/10/08

 

- $360,631.33 to Bieber Comm for campaign literature

 

10/10/08

 

- $137,422.84 to Valley Press for campaign literature

 

10/13/08

 

- $1,229,750.78 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/13/08

 

- $142,877.61 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/15/08

 

- $130,000.00 to Eagle Foundation for professional services

 

10/16/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Container Supply Store

10/16/08

 

$5,690,227.00

 

 

10/17/08

 

- $100,000.00 to CA Voter Guide for campaign literature

 

10/20/08

 

+ $150,000.00 from Knights of Columbus

 

10/20/08

 

- $3,463,854.40 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/21/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from NOM

 

10/21/08

 

- $1,000,000.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/21/08

 

- $190,000.00 to Five 9 for phone banks

 

10/22/08

 

+ $150,000.00 from Fieldstead

 

10/22/08

 

- $246,933.94 to Valley Press for campaign literature

 

10/22/08

 

- $100,447.49 to Bieber Comm for campaign literature

10/23/08

 

-$58,084.00

 

 

10/24/08

 

- $1,000,000.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/24/08

 

- $886,729.32 to Bieber Communications for campaign literature

 

10/27/08

 

- $1,400,000.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/27/08

 

+ $200,000.00 from US Catholic Bishops

 

10/27/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Fieldstead

 

10/27/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from John Dalton

 

10/27/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Roger Boyer

 

10/27/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Josephine Templeton

 

10/27/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Mike Murray

 

10/28/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from Alan Ashton

 

10/28/08

 

+ $200,000.00 from Galaxy Enterprises

 

10/28/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Belinda Vandersloot

 

10/28/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Focus on the Family

 

10/28/08

 

- $2,500,000.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/29/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Watermark Investments

 

10/29/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Vineyard Group

 

10/29/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Katharine Garff

 

10/29/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from Claire Reiss

 

10/29/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Josephine Templeton

 

10/30/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from Claire Reiss

 

10/30/08

 

+ $400,000.00 from Caster Family Trust

 

10/30/08

 

- $772,019.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/30/08

 

- $343,337.88 to Bieber Comm for campaign literature

 

10/30/08

 

- $277,981.00 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

10/30/08

 

- $335,029.51 to Monaco Inc for campaign literature

10/30/08

 

$977,222.00

 

 

10/31/08

 

+ $300,000.00 from Hartfield Holdings

 

11/3/08

 

- $248,494.59 to Marketing Comm Serv for TV or cable airtime and production costs

 

11/4/08

 

+ $119,311.87 from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

11/4/08

 

$1,035,514.02

 

 

 


No on 8 Account Balance:

05/01/2008 – 11/4/2008

Date

 

Balance

Major Contribution/Expenditure

5/1/08

 

$93,842.00

 

5/8/08

 

$99,092.00

 

5/15/08

 

$115,359.00

 

5/22/08

 

$100,724.00

 

5/29/08

 

$168,423.00

 

 

6/5/08

 

+ $200,000.00 from Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

6/5/08

 

$403,033.00

 

6/12/08

 

$387,685.00

 

6/19/08

 

$423,945.00

 

 

6/20/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Center Advocacy Issues PAC

 

6/25/08

 

+ $200,000.00 from LA GL Center

6/26/08

 

$754,683.00

 

 

6/27/08

 

+ $350,000.00 from EQCA

 

6/30/08

 

+ $130,000.00 from HRC

7/3/08

 

$1,218,917.00

 

7/10/08

 

$1,262,235.00

 

7/17/08

 

$1,312,171.00

 

 

7/18/08

 

+ $125,000.00 from HRC

 

7/22/08

 

+ $1,250,000.00 from EQCA

 

7/23/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from HRC

 

7/24/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from GLAAD

 

7/24/08

 

- $2,551,818.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

7/24/08

 

$453,394.00

 

 

7/29/08

 

+ $1,050,000.00 from HRC

 

7/30/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from CA Teachers

 

7/30/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Gill Action Fund

 

7/31/08

 

- $1,137,494.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

7/31/08

 

$1,183,498.00

 

 

8/4/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from EQCA

 

8/7/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Esmond Harmsworth

 

8/7/08

 

- $497,711.20 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

8/7/08

 

$1,312,730.00

 

 

8/11/08

 

- $865,523.80 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

8/14/08

 

+ $150,000.00 from HRC

8/14/08

 

$679,558.00

 

 

8/18/01

 

- $126,237.50 to Lake Research Partners for polling research

8/21/08

 

$618,902.00

 

 

8/26/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from EQCA

 

8/28/08

 

- $1,108,636.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

8/28/08

 

$866,075.00

 

 

9/3/08

 

+ $1,200,000.00 from ACLU

 

9/3/08

 

- $109,943.50 to Remcho Johansen & Purcell LLP for legal services

 

9/4/08

 

- $832,558.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

9/4/08

 

$1,146,972.00

 

9/11/08

 

$1,260,692.00

 

 

9/17/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from EQCA

 

9/17/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Michael Huffington

 

9/18/08

 

- $1,437,915.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

9/18/08

 

$875,438.00

 

 

9/22/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Robert Haas

 

9/24/08

 

+ $1,250,000.00 from EQCA

 

9/24/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from CA State Services Employees PAC

 

9/24/08

 

- $2,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

9/25/08

 

$975,926.00

 

 

10/1/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from CA DSCC

 

10/1/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Californians Against Elimination of Basic Rights

 

10/2/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/2/08

 

- $1,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

10/2/08

 

$1,206,930.00

 

 

10/3/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from Fred Eychaner

 

10/3/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Esmond Harmsworth

 

10/6/08

 

- $110,155.67 to Storefront Political Media for campaign literature

 

10/9/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/9/08

 

- $1,750,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

10/9/08

 

$1,657,640.00

 

 

10/14/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/14/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from CA Teachers

 

10/14/08

 

- $1,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/15/08

 

+ $450,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/15/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from HRC

 

10/15/08

 

- $2,200,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/16/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from SEIU

 

10/16/08

 

+ $120,000.00 from National Center for Lesbian Rights Action Fund

 

10/16/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from HRC

 

10/16/08

 

- $1,400,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

10/16/08

 

$1,972,302.00

 

 

10/17/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Ellen DeGeneres

 

10/20/08

 

- $1,457,967.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/20/08

 

- $100,000.00 to Lake Research for polling research

 

10/20/08

 

- $100,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/21/08

 

+ $871,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/21/08

 

+ $525,000.00 from Californians Against Elimination of Basic Rights

 

10/21/08

 

- $410,227.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/21/08

 

- $150,000.00 to Armour Griffin Media for campaign consultancy

 

10/21/08

 

- $129,000.00 to IW Group for professional services

 

10/22/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from James Hormel

 

10/22/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from David Maltz

 

10/22/08

 

+ $250,000.00 from HRC

 

10/22/08

 

- $3,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/22/08

 

- $392,000.00 to Storefront Political Media for campaign literature

 

10/23/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/23/08

 

- $2,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

10/23/08

 

-$426,881.00

 

 

10/24/08

 

+ $268,000.00 from Campaign for Marriage Equality

 

10/24/08

 

- $480,761.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/24/08

 

- $100,000.00 to Armour Griffith Media

 

10/27/08

 

- $729,484.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/28/08

 

+ $700,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/28/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from David Bohnett

 

10/28/08

 

+ $425,000.00 from Campaign for Marriage Equality

 

10/28/08

 

+ $1,000,000.00 from Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center

 

10/28/08

 

- $2,400,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

10/29/08

 

- $223,032.50 to Storefront Political Media for campaign literature

 

10/30/08

 

+ $350,000.00 from EQCA

 

10/30/08

 

+ $500,000.00 from William Resnick

 

10/30/08

 

+ $220,000.00 from HRC

 

10/30/08

 

- $111,176.15 to Blackrock Associates for information technology services

 

10/30/08

 

- $2,000,000.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

10/30/08

 

$768,941.00

 

 

10/31/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from David Geffen

 

10/31/08

 

+ $100,000.00 from Tim Gill

 

10/31/08

 

- $785,368.00 to Mering Carson for TV or cable airtime

 

11/1/08

 

+ $125,000.00 from EQCA

 

11/3/08

 

- $750,000.00 to Winning Connections for TV or cable airtime

 

11/3/08

 

+ $134,462.00 from CA DSCC

 

11/3/08

 

- $150,000.00 to Spoken Hub for TV or cable airtime

11/4/08

 

$1,505,322.00