California Ballot Measure Funding Tops $372 Million


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CALIFORNIA BALLOT MEASURE FUNDING TOPS $372 MILLION
47 Donors of $1 Million or More Make Up 80% of All Funding

November 5, 2012—The campaigns for and against the 11 measures on Tuesday’s California ballot have raised a combined $372 million, according to MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics. MapLight's analysis uses the latest available campaign finance data from the California Secretary of State as of November 4, 2012.

KEY DATA POINTS:

  • The top 20 funders gave 69% of all ballot measure funding.
  • The top 10 funders gave 58% of all funding.
  • The top four individuals gave 34% of the funds, or $128 million.
  • Forty-seven funders giving $1 million or more made up 80% of all funds raised.

“California voters gained the power of ballot measures a century ago to break the grip of wealthy interests controlling government. Now, it's largely rich individuals, wealthy companies, and unions that drive our money-dominated initiative system,” said Daniel G. Newman, MapLight's president and co-founder.

Editors Note: Daniel G. Newman, MapLight's cofounder and president is available to discuss the funding behind California's ballot propositions from 7:30a PST - 11:00p PST.

A spreadsheet of the data above can be found here.

SUPER DONORS' PROFILES:

  • The top donor was Molly Munger, who has given $44 million in support of Proposition 38, a measure that would increase income taxes to fund education.
  • The second top donor was Charles T. Munger Jr., who gave $37 million, primarily to pass Proposition 32 and to oppose Proposition 30. Both Mungers are children of Charles Munger Sr., billionaire business partner of investor Warren Buffet.
  • The third top donor is the California Teachers Association, which gave $33 million to oppose Proposition 32, a measure that would eliminate paycheck deductions for political contributions, and support Proposition 30, Gov. Brown’s tax measure that would increase income taxes on income over $250,000 per year and increase the state sales tax to fund education and other purposes.
  • Thomas Steyer, a hedge fund manager, gave $30 million in support of Proposition 39, which would require multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on the percentage of their sales in California and would dedicate revenues to clean energy projects.
  • George Joseph, chairman of Mercury Insurance, gave $17 million in support of Proposition 33, which would allow auto insurance companies to set prices based on whether a driver previously carried auto insurance.
Donor  Grand Total   % of Total   Rank 
MOLLY MUNGER  $  44,128,399.25 11.86% 1
CHARLES T. MUNGER, JR.  $  36,666,306.00 9.85% 2
CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION  $  32,831,899.61 8.82% 3
THOMAS F. STEYER  $  30,080,000.00 8.08% 4
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION  $  22,334,559.70 6.00% 5
GEORGE JOSEPH  $  16,922,126.97 4.55% 6
AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP  $  11,000,000.00 2.96% 7
DEMOCRATIC STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
OF CALIFORNIA
 $    8,308,047.87 2.23% 8
MONSANTO COMPANY  $    8,112,866.55 2.18% 9
CALIFORNIA LABOR FEDERATION  $    6,889,642.55 1.85% 10
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS  $    5,836,475.77 1.57% 11
E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO.  $    5,400,000.00 1.45% 12
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE COUNTY
& MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES
 $    4,964,731.33 1.33% 13
AMERICAN FUTURE FUND  $    4,080,000.00 1.10% 14
PEPSICO, INC.  $    3,779,263.25 1.02% 15
COCA-COLA COMPANY  $    3,763,293.07 1.01% 16
CALIFORNIA SCHOOL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION  $    3,432,485.96 0.92% 17
STEVE R. ENGLISH  $    3,250,500.00 0.87% 18
CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS  $    3,030,135.03 0.81% 19
CHRIS M. KELLY  $    2,360,000.00 0.63% 20
PEACE OFFICERS RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
OF CALIFORNIA
 $    2,132,271.16 0.57% 21
GROCERY MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION  $    2,002,000.00 0.54% 22
BASF PLANT SCIENCE  $    2,000,000.00 0.54% 23
BAYER CROPSCIENCE  $    2,000,000.00 0.54% 24
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF HOSPITALS
AND HEALTH SYSTEMS
 $    2,000,000.00 0.54% 25
DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC  $    2,000,000.00 0.54% 26
SYNGENTA CORPORATION  $    2,000,000.00 0.54% 27
KRAFT FOODS GLOBAL, INC.  $    1,950,500.00 0.52% 28
CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION  $    1,893,225.53 0.51% 29
CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY  $    1,749,562.20 0.47% 30
NICOLAS BERGGRUEN INSTITUTE TRUST  $    1,557,586.94 0.42% 31
UNITED DOMESTIC WORKERS OF AMERICA  $    1,525,000.00 0.41% 32
NESTLE USA, INC.  $    1,461,600.00 0.39% 33
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF
ELECTRICAL WORKERS
 $    1,405,000.00 0.38% 34
JERRY PERENCHIO  $    1,250,000.00 0.34% 35
REED HASTINGS  $    1,250,000.00 0.34% 36
GENERAL MILLS, INC.  $    1,230,300.00 0.33% 37
CALIFORNIA NURSES ASSOCIATION  $    1,203,916.87 0.32% 38
CONAGRA FOODS  $    1,176,700.00 0.32% 39
MERCOLA.COM HEALTH RESOURCES LLC  $    1,115,000.00 0.30% 40
WILLIAM OBERNDORF  $    1,100,000.00 0.30% 41
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION  $    1,059,237.50 0.28% 42
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS  $    1,025,000.00 0.28% 43
GEORGE SOROS  $    1,000,000.00 0.27% 44
KENT WHEALY  $    1,000,000.00 0.27% 45
NICHOLAS PRITZKER  $    1,000,000.00 0.27% 46
THE ATLANTIC ADVOCACY FUND  $    1,000,000.00 0.27% 47
 $297,257,633.11 79.89%

FUNDING PROFILES FOR ALL CALIFORNIA BALLOT PROPOSITIONS:

Proposition 30: Taxes (Brown Plan)
Proposition 31: Two-Year State Budget
Proposition 32: Political Contributions
Proposition 33: Auto Insurance
Proposition 34: Death Penalty
Proposition 35: Human Trafficking
Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law
Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods
Proposition 38: Taxes (Munger Plan)
Proposition 39: Taxes for Multistate Businesses
Proposition 40: State Senate Redistricting

A link to this report can be found here.

About MapLight:
MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics.

Media Contact:
Pamela Behrsin
w: 510-868-0894
c: 415-299-0898
e: pamela@maplight.org