Los Angeles’ Proposition 8 campaign is preparing for the fight

Why it could take weeks to get final L.A. election results. ‘We aren’t sitting on ballots’

There’s an argument to be made for going ahead and approving Prop. 8 on the strength of its numbers and the fact that it’s on the ballot in the largest city in the state. After all, California’s voter turnout record is unrivaled in the nation. In Los Angeles, over 65 percent of eligible voters turned out, according to the city clerk’s office.

But after four years of political wrangling, we are a long way from having an accurate picture of the measure’s fate. If the measure survives this year, it will have to contend with the other major initiative on the ballot: the state’s “fair share” law, which raises the threshold for government aid in exchange for reductions in taxes for low-income families.

Prop. 8 will also be tied up with the state’s attempt to require businesses to provide a wide array of services to low-income workers, such as child care and health insurance. And even if California’s presidential election is largely decided on the outcome of Prop. 8, the state’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage last year still provides fodder for those debating Proposition 8.

“It’s not like we’re sitting on ballots,” said Bob Stern of the Proposition 8 campaign. “We aren’t sitting on ballots.”

Yet the campaign to pass the California amendment has made extraordinary efforts to ensure that Prop. 8 is put on those ballots with as little controversy as possible. The measure’s proponents have been preparing for this fight since last year, when the City Council voted narrowly to require voter approval of any local gay-marriage measure.

The effort was aided by an unlikely alliance between two of Los Angeles’ most powerful and politically powerful allies: the gay community, which has the funds to take on Prop. 8 through the state’s Proposition 8 campaign, and the mayor, Eric Garcetti, who was elected in 1995 on a campaign against same-sex marriage.

In early November, the measure’s top officials announced they planned to spend at least $20 million on state and local lobbying and media campaigns, not counting spending on voter campaigns, including voter education and outreach.

And there are indications that the state’s measure may have more support than advocates have given it credit for. “The Prop. 8

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