"As long as the information is disclosed and people know who is spending to support or oppose ballot measures, it's hard to say that it's corrupting, which I think is the issue of campaigns," Ravel said.
But Jessica Levinson, an associate clinical professor at Loyola Law School who follows money in politics, said high spending is both a fact of life in modern campaigns and a problem.
"The amount of money being spent in campaigns is really overwhelming," she said. "It gives the impression that politics is a game for monied interests. I think it drowns out other voices."
Levinson said it's not realistic to try to lessen the amount of money spent, given the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that money is the same as speech, but she said federal entities including the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission should be stricter about what qualifies as a nonprofit that does not have to disclose donors.