Spotlight on California

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in California.

Plastic Bag Ban Passes the Assembly Despite Influence of Opposing Industries

On Wednesday, June 2, the Assembly passed (AB 1998) a bill that would eliminate single-use plastic bags from supermarkets, convenience stores and large stores that include a pharmacy. Industry groups opposing the bill were unable to prevent its passage, their clout was evident in the votes cast by Assemblymembers. Three Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill. The three Democrats who opposed the bill received nearly double the average of those supporting.

CTA money correlated to voting patterns on Race to the Top bill in CA legislature

CA Senate Democrats voting No on Race to the Top bill received 114% more from CTA than those voting Yes. CA Assembly Democrats voting No received 34% more from CTA than those voting Yes.

Health Insurance Rescissions Reform Opposed by Legislators Receiving More Money from Industry

February 25, 2010 - In September 2009, the California State Legislature passed a bill that prevents health insurers from rescinding policies for any reason, after the first 24 months of coverage. For the Senate floor vote, those voting with the health insurance industry received on average $13,195 from the three main opponents of the bill, Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies, California Association of Health Plans and California Association of Health Underwriters, in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

Sacramento Bee Editorial: Public, butt out

March 16, 2008 - "Things in California aren't that bad – or are they? In 2006, (a political watchdog group in Berkeley that is now known as MAPLight) asked the Legislature for a database of its votes...The Office of Legislative Counsel responded with a masterpiece of legalese, but it boiled down to this: The law doesn't prohibit us from giving you the database, but it doesn't require us to, either. So you're out of luck."

Groundbreaking Database Unveils New Connections Between Money and Politics in California

October 17, 2006 – Today unveiled a pioneering database that lays bare the connection between money and votes in California politics.