Fat cats mostly fail in their efforts to pass or defeat propositions

munger.jpgThe day after most of them went down to defeat, you have to wonder whether they now think it was worth the effort - and the dollars. Molly Munger's Prop 38 was competing with Gov. Brown's Prop 30 tax initiative and lost badly (even though it was a more sensible plan). Her brother Charles Munger contributed heavily to oppose Prop 30, which won, and support Prop 32, the anti-union effort that lost. George Joseph essentially bankrolled Prop 33, the auto insurance measure, and lost by roughly the same margin as in 2010. Nicholas Berggruen supported Prop 31, which would change the way state budgets are prepared, and that lost as well. One of the few successes was Tom Steyer, who almost single-handedly financed Prop 39. The measure changes the corporate tax code, resulting in $1 billion in new taxes for companies based out of state (half of which would fund alternative energy programs he's supporting). Here's the rundown. Each of these initiatives tells a slightly different story, but as we saw with the proliferation of superpacs trying to defeat President Obama, and as we've seen with the succession of wealthy Californians running for office - and losing - money alone won't get it done (if you're a fat cat, some voters will oppose you on general principal). That's one of the more hopeful takeaways from Tuesday's election.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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