After spending half a million dollars to halt San Diego’s minimum wage hike by forcing it onto the June ballot, business groups might not spend much at all persuading voters not to approve it.
They didn’t change their minds on the policy – they still don’t like it. They just aren’t sure trying to win over voters will amount to anything but throwing good money after bad.
“I’m not sure there’s enough money to win,” said Sean Karafin, executive director of policy and economic research at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “People are assessing the chances of winning, and obviously that’s going to dictate where our resources go.”
The move to overturn the City Council’s decision – which would initially raise the minimum wage to $11.50, tie future increases to inflation beginning in 2019 and give workers five sick days per year – was financed by a committee called the Small Business Coalition. Its largest donors were the Chamber, statewide restaurant groups and national and local hotel associations. They spent $545,000 on the effort in 2014.