Opponents of Proposition 32 have declared victory.
In a statement released shortly before midnight, Lou Paulson, chairman of the No on Proposition 32 campaign, said, "By soundly rejecting Proposition 32, the voters of our state said 'no' to a deceptive initiative written by wealthy special interests, for wealthy special interests."
With 95 percent of precincts reporting, 56.2 percent of ballots cast have rejected the measure. "No" votes in populous Los Angeles County were running at 62 percent with a little less than half the precincts there reporting. Nearly three-quarters of the votes in San Francisco opposed the measure.
Organized labor targeted Proposition 32, which includes a provision to ban unions and corporations from using money deducted from paychecks for political purposes. Payroll deductions are unions' sole means of political funding. Corporations use other means to raise political cash that the measure doesn't limit.
The Yes on 32 campaign and independent committees that backed the measure raised about $60 million. Unions raised more.
"When you're up against one ot the most powerful interests in the state that's willing to spend $71 million, it's very difficult to pass an initiative," said Jake Suski, spokesman for the Yes on Proposition 32 group.
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