Special interests spend $1 billion in California

March 11, 2010

A new analysis by the Fair Political Practices Committee indicates that special interests have dropped approximately $1 billion on electioneering in California this last decade. [Contra Costa Times]

Labor unions, Indian tribes, and pharmaceutical companies have contributed the most money to political campaigns and paid the highest in lobbying fees in the state since 2000.

A combined 15 interest groups spent the money. The California Teachers Association ($211.8 million) tops the list, followed by California State Council of Service Employees ($107.4 million), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($104.9 million), Morongo Band of Mission Indians ($83.6 million) and Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians ($69.2 million).

Pacific Gas & Electric ($69.2 million) followed closely behind on the list.

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You guys are funny,

If you really look into corporate political donations, you’ll discover that the primary benefactors are usually the incumbents… or in this case, democrats. The supreme court decision will open all of the flood gates.

Mssr. Kaney, spare me the ‘white guilt.’ I didn’t know you were a slaveholder…. I thought you compensated folks for their work. There are plenty of countries that ended slavery after America and they have no guilt. Get over it.

Oh yeah and by the way, I find it extremely interesting that CTA tops this list. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, seems like if they distributed this money to teachers instead of spending it on union politics, they’d have achieved the outcomes they seek.

Call it white liberal guilt, but I give a pass to Indian Tribes whether I like the outcome of their lobbying or not. Maybe after a few more generations where they have gotten their piece of the pie through any means (legitimate or corrupt, I don’t care) available, it will be appropriate to try and alter the agreements we have made with them (through a legitimate bargaining process), but for now I bite my tongue. You may think white liberal guilt is silly, but I’d say we are still very much the beneficiaries of many of America’s less admirable moments.

Thanks to the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court, the spending by unions and Indian tribes will be a distant memory soon as the largest corporations will be outspending them in a ratio of maybe 100 to 1. Big pharma, energy companies, utilities, banking interests and insurance companies (to name just a few of those with gobs of money to spend) will attempt to influence our elections like never before. For those of you who will spout the talking point that the Supreme Court ruling was about “free speech”, just remember that if “money equals free speech”, why don’t we tax speech? Because it is speech, not money, and money is regulated and taxed, because it is money. The Supreme Court decision is the largest single blow to our democracy in this countries history; try to remember that in November this year or in two years.

Right on Bob. We are in for the ride of our lives when the corps get involved. Looking at most of the donors listed above, they are mostly people groups. Unions, teachers, real americans-these are all real people lobbying their gummint-that is well and good. When the corps get involved we are talking about just a few suits at the top reaping billions from us. We’re screwed…