No on Proposition 89

In 2006, the California Nurses Association struck out on its own with an initiative to publicly fund political candidate campaigns and severely restrict participation in the political process. It followed efforts in Oregon, Maine, Vermont and Arizona to implement public financing of political campaigns. Proponents said the law would make politicians more responsive to voters and their concerns, rather than to their largest campaign contributors, when in fact it would have created an unlevel playing field that restricted everyone but unions. The partners of Redwood Pacific Public Affairs were retained by the business community to provide strategic direction and manage the creative elements of a winning “No” campaign.

The campaign was able to unite a coalition of unlikely allies to oppose this poorly written measure including taxpayer and business groups, labor unions and campaign finance experts. This coalition helped to capitalize on the already minimal support for publicly funded political campaigns. Every major daily in the state also opposed the measure.

By running targeted flight of television advertising on broadcast television during the final weeks of the campaign, we were able to deliver our key messages in a crowded electoral climate and win the campaign with a 75% “No” vote.