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Benefits Research Group
 
Building Homeowner Power
 
Citizens for Flood Safety
 
Clean Air Cars
 
Family Farm Action
 
Fighting Pension Privatization
 
Handling GASB 43/45 and OPEB
 
Investing for Human Rights
 
Poison PC Update
 
Take Back Campaign
 
Winning Pension Power
 
 
 
 
Fighting Pension Privatization
   
As public opinion turned, CFAPR used targeted paid media to escalate interest. A statewide radio buy in California costs half a million dollars or more per week. Instead, CAFPR focused on airing spots in Californiaís Central Valley and coalition partners aired radio spots in Los Angeles. These radio spots also allowed survivors to explain to the public the negative impact of the governorís proposal.

Earned media opened up more public dialogue. From the outset police and firefighter organizations had appealed to their allies in other states to help draw attention to the pension and death benefit issues as Schwarzenegger traveled to raise money for his agenda. These actions resulted in strong coverage of the issue back in California, with the governor appealing to his own special interests while public safety heroes protested outside expensive events.

Meanwhile another coalition, Alliance for a Better California, began staging rallies outside all of the Governorís fundraisers calling attention to the Governorís special interest ties. The crowds mostly consisted of nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers. Crowds reached 2,000 to 3,000, significantly outnumbering the Governorís supporters at these events. TV cameras began to film the celebrity Governor sneaking into his own fundraising events, even in New York, to avoid the crowds. By then polls indicated that only 35% supported the proposal while 54% of voters opposed it, numbers that would kill any chance of the Governor accomplishing his agenda.

Two months after CFAPR launched its effort Schwarzenegger backed off and dropped the pension initiative for the special election. With a budget of less than $450,000, California Families Against the Privatization successful fought to protect secure retirement as well as survivor and disability benefits. The modest budget and the effective strategies used by the campaign defeated bad public policy before it even got fully launched and saved millions in campaign costs for the coalition and its allies.

 

 

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