DATA RELEASE: California Campaign Cash Comes from Far Beyond Where Voters Live

Candidates Raise an Overwhelming 78% of Funds from Outside Their Districts

Read the study: http://www.maplight.org/docs/LocalVotesRemoteMoney.pdf

BERKELEY, CA, November 1, 2006 – Today MAPLight.org, dedicated to illuminating money and politics, announced the results of its new study “Local Politics, Remote Money.” According to the study, 78% of the money for California legislative races is provided by funders outside legislators’ districts.

“It’s election season, and California Assemblymembers and Senators are crisscrossing their districts, as they should be, looking for votes. It’s just astonishing, then, that a whopping three out of every four dollars in funding comes from out-of-district,” said Dan Newman, Executive Director of MAPLight.org.

The legislator with the highest out-of-district amount was Assemblymember Cindy Montanez from California’s 39th District with 99% of campaign dollars coming from outside her district.

“Legislators depend on campaign contributions,” said Newman. “They seek these funds anywhere they can. When the vast majority is generated from outside the district they represent, the voters—their constituents—must wonder if local interests are being trumped by outside interests.”

Proposition 89, the California election reform initiative which takes aim at political corruption, would sharply reduce out-of-district contributions. Candidates who participated in Prop. 89’s clean money system would be prohibited from collecting funds from outside of their districts.

“Californians don’t have to be cynical,” said Newman. “They can change the system by supporting Prop. 89.”

The MAPLight.org study also debunked the myth of small donor clout. Contributions of less than $1,000 or more made up just 22% of funds raised.

One dollar in ten (10%) came from outside of California. The legislator with the highest percentage of out-of-state funds state was Assemblymember Joe Canciamilla, who received 22% of his funds from outside California.

For the complete study including specific statistics for each legislator, visit http://www.maplight.org/docs/LocalVotesRemoteMoney.pdf. The study examined contributions prior to each legislator’s last election.

About MAPLight.org:

MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California, illuminates the connection between money and politics. MAPLight.org shines a light on campaign contributions and related legislative outcomes, which leads to a more informed public and election reform. On October 17 the organization launched a groundbreaking public database of money and votes in California politics, available at www.maplight.org. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Media contact:

Pamela Heisey 
Communications Director
Cell: 415.299.0898
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org

Media Contact

Pamela Behrsin
Communications
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org