Former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer at visit “Your World with Neil Cavuto”. .. [+] FOX Business Studios Nov. 14, 2019, New York, USA.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns the NBA team the Los Angeles Clippers and his wife Connie donated $500,000 last week to support Proposition 1, which would create an amendment to the California Constitution that would guarantee abortion and the right to contraception.
A spokesman for the Ballmer family confirmed that Steve and Connie each donated $250,000 by a reporter for the newsletter Puck First reported Monday by Theodore Schleifer. A spokesman declined to comment further on the donation. Forbes estimates Steve’s net worth at $80.4 billion, making him the eighth-richest person in the United States.
Proposition 1 got abortion rights activist, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and a conservative majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. After Wade, Democratic lawmakers rushed to get the measure on this year’s ballot, allowing states to outright ban abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years. According to the text of the measure, if passed, Proposition 1 would explicitly prohibit the state from interfering with individuals’ “fundamental right to choose an abortion and their basic right to choose or refuse contraception.”
As of Tuesday, the Yes On 1 campaign has raised a total of $11.7 million, with the largest donation coming from the Confederate Indians of Graton Rancheria, a San Francisco-based Native American Tribes of the North Bay Area ($5 million); Newsom’s Re-election Committee ($876,000) and the California Medical Association ($850,000).
“The prop 1 campaign thanks a broad and diverse group of contributors that will allow us to effectively communicate to California voters the importance of increasing the right to include abortion directly in the California Constitution,” the Yes On 1 movement said in a statement said in. California voters support abortion rights enshrined in the state constitution. According to a poll last month by the California Institute for Public Policy, 69 percent of likely voters supported Proposition 1. Another August poll by the UC Berkeley Institute for Government found that 71 percent of voters supported Proposition 1.
After the Roe v. Wade decision, the Ballmer family isn’t the only billionaire to spend money in support of the pro-choice movement. Dagmar Dolby, the San Francisco billionaire widow of Dolby Labs founder Ray Dolby, also paid $100,000 for Prop 1, according to state documents. Former Facebook (now Meta) COO Sheryl Sandberg announced Tuesday a $3 million donation to the ACLU to advocate for abortion rights nationwide. “This donation will support the ACLU’s work to protect reproductive health care in the courts, the legislature and at the ballot box over the next three years,” the ACLU press release said.
Billionaires like MacKenzie Scott, Michael Bloomberg, and Warren Buffett also put their charities to work ahead of SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade Funds go to abortion rights groups like Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute, although as a percentage of overall charitable giving, abortion rights are relatively small. No one has directly supported California’s ballot measure, at least publicly, since the ruling.
This isn’t the Ballmer family’s first foray into California politics. The couple committed $6 million in 2020 to support a ballot measure to remove cash bail; the proposition loses. They also spent $1 million to support affirmative action in 2020, but voters also rejected it. Steve’s 2019 donation of $500,000 to Measure EE, a local initiative to raise funds for Los Angeles public schools, also failed. One of their successes: Connie donated $1 million last year to fight against Newsom’s recall.