Investing in Influence

Business groups dominate the funding of California lawmakers’ campaigns, according to a study released June 2, 2010 by the nonpartisan research group MAPLight.org.

Businesses and trade associations paid for 40 percent of California legislators’ campaigns over the last three years. Business groups provided more money than private citizens (17%) and labor unions (16%) combined. The study examined campaign contributions to members of the state Senate and Assembly. Political parties funded 12 percent of campaigns, with most of these funds directed towards a small handful of legislators. Advocacy groups - such as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California League of Conservation Voters—gave a tiny amount, less than 1 percent of all funds.

The interactive graphic below provides an alternative view of the data. (Created by Tableau Software.)