The Arizona Secretary of State’s web page has campaign finance reports for committees that either supported, or opposed, Proposition 121, this year’s top-two initiative. Donations and spending that occurred up until October 25, 2012 are now known. Donations and spending for the period later than October 25 will not be known until December 6, 2012.
The only committee that raised and spent money to defeat the initiative, Save Our Vote, raised $458,851 and spent $380,985, in the period July through October 25.
Two committees raised money in support of the initiative. The Open Government committee raised $1,330,582 prior to October 26, 2012, and Arizonans for a Top Two Primary raised $12,958. One of the biggest individual donors to the Open Government Committee is Rob Walton, chair of Walmart. On September 19, 2012, he contributed $50,000 to the campaign in favor of the top-two primary.
Proponents of the initiative, of course, spent a great deal of their money on paying petition circulators, and the campaign finance reports don’t make it possible to know how much the supporters spent on petitioning, versus how much they spent on advertising. Proponents spent most of their advertising budget on television. Proponents also arranged for robocalls to registered Republicans, saying that Republicans support Prop. 121; see here for more about that.
Opponents of the initiative had television ads, but seem to have relied more on direct postal mail. Opponents appeared at a panel discussion on October 14. Here is a link to the hour-long event, which included these five panelists: Luis Heredia, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party; Barry Hess, spokesperson for the Arizona Libertarian Party; Mike Liburdi, a Republican and the attorney who challenged the placement of Prop. 121 on the ballot; Christina Tobin of Free & Equal; and Angel Torres, co-chair of the Arizona Green Party. Barbara Klein, president of the state League of Women Voters, moderated. The comments of Heredia are especially interesting; to hear him, go to the 15 minute mark and also the 31 minute mark.
Proponents are charging that the initiative lost overwhelmingly because of large contributions against the initiative from Americans for Responsible Leadership, which has ties to Charles and David Koch. That contribution came in after many Arizona had already voted.