California Indian casinos, card rooms, and private sports betting companies have funded the vast majority of the $450 million Prop 26 and Prop 27 campaigns. In terms of financial impact, those three groups are the most significant players.
But, in terms of optics, another contributor is perhaps the most significant: the California Democratic Party.
According to the California Secretary of State’s database, the California Democratic Party has donated $2,703.97 in opposition to Prop 27, which would legalize online sports betting in the state.
Both the state Democratic and Republican parties announced their public opposition to Prop 27 earlier this year. (The GOP also opposes Prop 26.) But only the Democrats have contributed any money to Prop 26 or Prop 27.
It’s not rare for a state party to spend on ballot measure campaigns. The California Democratic Party had donated a total of $266,910.97 to campaigns involving six of the seven November 2022 ballot measures.
However, these ballot measures often involve partisan issues.
INDIVIDUAL DONORS: From a Biologist to a Lyft Driver, Meet the Individual Prop 27 Donors
Prop 1, for instance, would amend the California Constitution to add a person’s fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including the right to have an abortion and the right to refuse contraceptives. California Democrats support this initiative (and have spent $236,608.78 on it) and California Republicans oppose it. It’s mostly a Democrat vs. GOP issue.
Prop 26 and Prop 27, though, don’t involve traditionally partisan issues. It’s not like Democrats like sports betting more than Republicans. So the California Democratic Party’s financial involvement in the No on 27 campaign carries extra weight.
How Much Are California Democrats Spending on Other Props?
Of the six ballot measures it either financially supports or opposes, the California Democratic Party has donated the fifth-most to No on 27. It has donated the most to Yes on 1, and the least ($1,055.09) in support of Prop 29, which would require a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant to be present during kidney dialysis treatment.
The party’s $2,703.97 spent on No on 27 accounts for just over 1% of its total ballot measure campaign spending.