Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Corporations Don't Like A Law? Just Pay Millions For A Ballot Measure

5fa4712bbef47b0008898a2c-eight.jpg
Special interests that are thwarted in the California Capitol attempt an end-run around new laws they don't like: ask the voters to overrule lawmakers. (Image via iStock)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today during our fall member drive.

BY LAUREL ROSENHALL/CAL MATTERS

Jeff Clayton remembers the day, two years ago, when California passed a law that would put his industry out of business in the state. The ban on money bail -- which Democrats advanced saying it would bring more fairness in the criminal justice system -- would devastate companies in the American Bail Coalition that Clayton heads.

He phoned a political consultant in Sacramento, who told him: "You guys are the plastic bag guys now," Clayton recalled.

Translation: If you want your industry to survive in California, do what plastic companies did after the state outlawed single-use plastic bags. Put up millions of dollars to ask voters to overturn the law on the ballot.

Support for LAist comes from

So bail companies spent $11 million on a campaign to overturn California's ban on cash bail -- a gamble that paid off this week when voters defeated Proposition 25.

"The California Legislature tends to go too far at times," Clayton said. "As long as that stands, I think many businesses will be put in a position to have to do something like this."