Gee, it looks like the taxpayers of California won’t receive much of a return on their borrowed billions, to be given to Big Biotech and university research centers under Proposition 71, after all. This is in direct contradiction to the promises made by supporters of the initiative. Opponents tried to warn voters about this, but not having a budget it was difficult. And even though opponents tried to point out to the press that it was not at all likely that Proposition 71 would garner a profit for California, the media generally refused to investigate these concerns, preferring instead to harp continually on the “pro-life” attitudes of many of Proposition 71’s opponents. Indeed, many editorials actually claimed that the money factor was a reason to vote for the measure.
In the nearly one year since the election, much evidence has accumulated to show that the opponents were almost surely right about the money issue. And since then, a lot of good reporting has been done. Here is just one more story, published on the front page of today’s San Francisco Chronicle, reporting that Californians will almost surely reap few, if any, tax and licensing dollars from Proposition 71.
These stories could have and should have been reported during the campaign so that voters could have considered the issue when deciding how to cast their ballots. But before the election, the media was in the tank for Proposition 71. As good as the post-election reporting has been, it has been a day late and billions of dollars short.