California's Proposition 78 (2005)
California's November 8, 2005 elections on "several controversial propositions" dealing with state redistricting, the school system, budget and drug prices "could be one of the biggest political scrapes of the year, involving $125 million in ad spending," reports Advertising Age.
Supporters of Proposition 79, which would require pharmaceutical companies to reduce drug costs for lower-income patients, have hired former Howard Dean adviser Joe Trippi "to launch a grassroots, viral Internet campaign." Pharmaceutical companies are countering with Proposition 78, which would establish a "voluntary system of drug discounts." Their $75 million campaign for Prop. 78 includes television ads claiming that Prop. 79 would create "a costly new bureaucracy." Union groups have raised nearly $50 million to fight two other measures, Prop. 74 and Prop. 75, which would make it easier to fire new teachers and would restrict union spending on politics, respectively.
- Ira Teinowitz, "Proposals Ignite War in California: Big Names Join Ad Fight Over Pharma, Education Issues in Special Election," Advertising Age, September 12, 2005.