By Anthony Wright
Health Access California
It’s like deja vu…The campaign against the Prop 29 tobacco tax to fund cancer research was similar to big money efforts in the past against popular health measures, whether Prop 72 (expansion of employer-based health care) in 2004, Prop 79 (prescription drug reform) in 2005, or Prop 86 (tobacco tax) in 2006. They all involved a major corporate interest plowing millions of dollars in opposition, and all even used the same political consultants and even many of the same arguments.
Prop 29 came excruciatingly close–as of this writing, it has 49.2% of the vote, losing by a mere 60,000 vote margin out of millions cast. (There are still outstanding ballots to be cast, so who knows the final result.) It’s the exact same, super-close percentage as Prop 72 (49.2%), and even a point closer than the previous Prop 86 tobacco tax (48.2%).