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Valley Public Radio Staff
Government & Politics
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.