|SEIU State Council||$107,467,272|
|Philip Morris USA||$50,756,360|
|Agua Caliente Band||$49,078,448|
|CA Hospital Assoc||$43,281,456|
|Western States Petro. Assoc||$35,214,325|
|Aera Energy LLC||$34,671,163|
Over the past decade, The California Teachers Association, SEIU, and PhARMA lead the way in spending since 2000. They are closely followed by a bunch of casino tribes, corporations (Chevron, AT&T, PG&E, Philip Morris, Southern Cal-Ed) and the usual list of corporate types. You can get the full report from the FPPC (PDF). The top 15 spenders spent over $1 Billion.
I’m not sure what to say specifically about this list. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that there is this much money slopping around the political system. Given our initiative system and the money spent lobbying, in some cases I’m surprised the numbers are this low.
Quite frankly, there is no answer for this. Under the current Supreme Court precedent, we are pretty much out of ways to deal with money. Oh sure, clean money will be enormously helpful, but the fact is that we now have two legislatures. One gets its money from lobbyists, the other in the form of signature gatherers and 30 second spots.
So, at this point people who are vaguely left-leaning are left to hope that the Teachers Assoc. and SEIU will support good policy, because the money from Chevron and PG&E isn’t likely to be headed in the right direction.
Prop 15 will certainly help, but the level of reform that we need goes so far beyond just clean money. So, first step clean money, next step initiative reform, repealing Buckley v Valeo, robust federal campaign finance laws, limiting direct and indirect spending, and the list goes on…