Former Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio gave $250,000 last month to support a ballot measure that would ban payroll deductions for raising money for political purposes, according to documents filed with the state.
Two days after Perenchio's Mar. 24 donation to the "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act" campaign, the California Faculty Association Political Issues Committee put $350,000 into Alliance for a Better California 2012, No on Paycheck Deception, sponsored by educators, firefighters, school employees, health care givers and labor organizations.
Perenchio's check was the biggest of a total $365,000 in pro-initiative donations reported to the Secretary of State's office on this April 4 filing.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Protective League's Public Safety First PAC put in $125,000, bringing the total to defeat the measure on this April 10 report to $375,000.
Both sides are writing checks anticipating a political slugfest that could total $50 million or more in campaign spending by the time voters decide on the measure in November.
While the initiative would ban both unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates, both could still fund independent expenditure campaigns to support candidates.
Labor contends the measure is tilted against them, because it eliminates their primary method of raising money -- payroll deductions. Corporations, by contrast, raise the bulk of their campaign money from top executives and shareholders.
In all, supporters have given $2.9 million and opponents $4.7 million.