Opponents of an initiative on the February ballot that would change California's term-limits law have made their first media buy, according to records at the Secretary of State’s Office.
The Alliance for California’s Renewal, which is the main committee for the No on 93 campaign, has spent more than $250,000 on unspecified “media buys.” The filings were dated Jan. 1.
The $250,000 figure is microscopic in the world of statewide political campaigns, which routinely run into seven figures. No on 93 spokesman Kevin Spillane refused to divulge details of the media buy, whether it was for television ads, or where and when the ads would run.
“You can expect a very aggressive advertising campaign in a variety of different media,” Spillane said.
Speculation about the media buy ranged from radio spots around the state to a one-time buy for an ad to run during the Super Bowl in the San Diego market.
Spillane did not comment on those rumors.
The buy shows up just days before Californians begin casting their votes for the Feb. 5 primary. Absentee ballots are expected to be sent out as early as Monday for the Feb. 5 election.
But Spillane says the early absentee mailing plays a limited role in the overall campaign strategy. “Contrary to most conventional wisdom, most absentee voters vote late, not early,” he said. “Most of those voters are takng those absentee ballots to the polls, or voting in the last 10 days.”
So it is the traditional days before the election where the bulk of the media campaign will be focused.
The media buy is the first in the term-limits fight, but certainly will not be the last. Speaker Fabian Nunez and his caucus have led the charge in favor of Proposition 93. Steve Poizner, the prison guards union and U.S. Term Limits are leading the fight against it.
As to when the Yes on 93 campaign may retaliate, spokesn Richard Stapler said, “We typically don’t discuss our media strategy in the media. We are going to run a very, very strong informative campaign up through the election.”