The final numbers are in for the 2013 ballot initiatives and, surprise!, the pro-Amendment 66 campaign spent a ridiculous amount of money. But, they raised less than what they hoped as some cited $12 million as a target. They raised (and presumably spent nearly all) $11,079,408 to garner only 496,151 votes or 35% of the votes. That’s $22.33 per vote, which is more than either of the presidential candidates in the 2012 election.
Not shocking, but the largest contributors to the effort were the Colorado Education Association and the National Education Association (aka the teachers unions). Each contributed two million dollars to the effort. While the NEA and CEA were the highest spenders, they weren’t the only unions to contribute. AFSCME and SEIU each contributed $50,000, AFL-CIO gave $100,000, and several local teachers unions gave in amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Bloomberg Philanthropies” (we still know it’s you, Michael) contributed $1,050,000. Melinda Gates contributed one million dollars, as did Pat Stryker. Gary Community Investment contributed $700,000.
Interestingly, another out-of-stater has inserted himself into Colorado politics – former Enron executive John Arnold, who gave $300,000 to the effort. Mr. Arnold, based on the success of this venture and of other Bloomberg-backed initiatives in Colorado, you might consider minding your own state.
In fact, several of the largest donors to this failed effort came from outside of Colorado. Colorado has rejected out of state money (and interference) over and over again. How the pro-Amendment 66 campaign – led by OnSight Public Affairs – manages to hoodwink these theoretically savvy investors over and over again is beyond us. This has got to have been the worst investment some of these investors have ever made.