Government & Politics
4:35 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

More than $350 Million Raised For and Against Ballot Measures

Political contributions for and against California’s 11 ballot measures have totaled more than $350 million. Much of the money is coming from wealthy individuals and outside organizations.

The campaign finance watchdog Maplight.org found one family responsible for almost a quarter of the contributions to California’s ballot measures.

“What’s surprising is that a few individuals or wealthy organizations can control the political debate.”

That’s Daniel G. Newman with Maplight.org. His analysis found Molly Munger and her brother Charles Munger have contributed more than $80 million total to either support or oppose propositions. A mystery out-of-state PAC and union groups are also among the highest contributors.

Newman says increasingly only a handful of wealthy interest groups can afford to put measures on the ballot and run campaigns.

“So we have this money dominated Propositions system that is undemocratic in a small “d” democratic sense," says Newman.

Proposition 32, which limits union and corporate campaign contributions, has actually had the most political contributions so far, at $128 million for or against.