Money can’t buy love, or elections

By Jon Coupal | Of the many conclusions that can be drawn from the March primary election in California, perhaps the most notable is that money doesn’t always translate into political success.

Let’s start with the “bad” Proposition 13 — the $15 billion statewide school bond measure which, at this writing, is way behind in the polls. The Associated Press has already called the election for the opponents.

The proponents of the bond had a lot of things going for them including the vocal support of the governor, education interests, public sector unions and developers. They also had a sympathetic purpose. Raising money for schools has traditionally been easy in California because education ranks very high in importance among the state’s voters. The slogan “it’s for the kids” may be overused, but it can still be effective.

The proponents also had something else which should have translated into a huge advantage: Lots of campaign cash. Although all the financial filings with California’s secretary of state are not yet publicly available, the proponents spent at least $10 million and perhaps much more than that to push their messaging.

Slick television ads claiming crumbling schools, lead in the pipes and asbestos in the ceiling tiles were intended to push the sympathy buttons of concerned voters.

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