A Bay Area News Group analysis shows that the number of candidate-controlled ballot measure committees has skyrocketed from six to at least three dozen over the past decade. Of the nearly $3 million spent by these committees since 2013, only $1 out of every $4 was used to help pass or kill measures that actually made it to the ballot.
Under the vague language of a 47-year-old political law, elected officials can legally operate these committees — but the way they’re doing it appears to bend state laws and rules governing how the money may be spent. And no state agency adequately monitors the situation.
I have argued that it would be constitutional to impose contribution limits on candidate-controlled ballot measure committees because they present the same dangers as contributions directly to candidates.