Initiatives v Oligarchy

Our Founders' Warning: “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” (Thomas Jefferson)

What Are the Initiatives Amendment Campaign Cost Estimates?

Initiatives Amendment Campaign Cost Estimates

Best Case Scenario

In the best initiatives amendment campaign cost estimates case, the States will perceive that the planned Amendment is to the benefit of both the People and the States, and will adopt and later ratify the Amendment. The costs in this case would probably be just a few million dollars.

Worst Case Scenario.

This scenario supposes a lack of State support, so that the People have to force the issue through votes to pass State initiatives and to demand that their elected representative vote in favor of the planned Citizens’ Initiatives Amendment.
The non-governmental costs of Initiatives to endorse this planned Amendment in all the 24 States that allow State Initiatives would be about $160 million. These estimates are based on linear interpolation of the range of actual initiative costs and State information provided in the sources.

State Initiative Cost Estimates
Alaska X 2700000
Arizona X X 6500000
Arkansas X X 4300000
California X X 29700000
Colorado X X 5700000
Florida X 15400000
Idaho X 3300000
Illinois X 12000000
Maine X 3200000
Massachusetts X 7200000
Michigan X X 10000000
Mississippi X 4400000
Missouri X X 6600000
Montana X X 2900000
Nebraska X X 3600000
Nevada X X 3900000
North Dakota X X 2700000
Ohio X X 11100000
Oklahoma X X 4900000
Oregon X X 5000000
South Dakota X X 2800000
Utah X X 4000000
Washington X X 7000000
Wyoming X 2600000
24 14 5 5 161500000
Broadcast Advertising 70400000
Advertising Literature 28900000
General Expenses 18300000
Consultants 16600000
Signature Gathering 11600000
Outdoor Advertising 6600000
Newspaper Advertising 4300000
Fund raising 2400000
Travel 2400000
Sources of Data:
Schevitz, Jan A., The Fourth Branch of Government. May 2000
Kearsley, Steve, San Francisco Chronicle. May 18-20, 1998
Initiatives & Referendum Institute

The remaining 26 States plus those Initiative States that do not support the Initiative will cost considerably more than the initiative States themselves. Thus, a rough guesstimate is that total costs will run on the order of $500 million.

Most Probable Case Scenario

Until the effort to support and adopt this planned Amendment is underway, the estimate is inevitably very uncertain. Just based on a guess that the final estimate will probably lie between the two extremes, a “talking” guesstimate for the moment is about $250 million. This will can be refined as the States’ positions become clearer.

Note: These are based on fiscal 2000 numbers and need updating