Stop the Jobs Tax – No on Proposition 24
The partners of Redwood Pacific Public Affairs were retained in March 2010 by a coalition of high tech, bio tech and entertainment industries to manage an effort to oppose an initiative filed by the teachers’ union to repeal job-creating tax reforms passed the previous year. Backers of Prop. 24 focused their campaign on blaming “greedy” corporations and Wall Street for the pain people were feeling on Main Street, and positioning Prop. 24 as a “painless” way for schools to get back money they claimed was unfairly given to wealthy corporations. Public opinion research indicated that in order to counter their arguments successfully, we needed to define Prop. 24 through its impact on jobs and small businesses.
The Stop the Jobs Tax committee raised concerns that Proposition 24’s “jobs tax” would not be a painless way to increase funds for education and other services, but rather a measure that would stall economic recovery and lead to fewer jobs and fewer long-term revenues. From the outset, the campaign’s focus was to deliver simple, clear messages that focused on the “no” vote, reinforcing California’s dire state of unemployment, emphasizing the impact on small business, by making them the face of the campaign, and highlighting the national trend away from the “jobs tax.”
The campaign actively recruited coalition members and secured small business profiles highlighting small businesses opposed to Prop. 24, featuring an interactive Google map on the website demonstrating the wide range of opposition from across the state. Over 200 small businesses were highlighted and more than 50 had individual profiles discussing how they would be hurt by the measure. The team also successfully secured a “No on 24” endorsement from every major newspaper in the state. On November 2nd, California voters sent a loud, clear message defeating Prop. 24 with a vote of 58% no to 42% yes.
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