Thursday, March 11, 2010
The state’s political watchdog has released a new list of the 15 interest groups who’ve spent the most on elections and lobbying over the past decade. The grand total is more than one billion dollars, and it begs the question: What are these groups getting for their money?
The name of the report says it all: Big Money Talks.
“Big money speaks and more money speaks louder,” said Roman Porter, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission. Porter's office looked at special interest spending on lobbying, candidates for office and ballot measures over the past ten years. They came up with a list of the 15 biggest spenders.
At the top: the California Teachers Association, which has spent more than $200 million dollars. Porter says the goal is to let the public know who the major players are.
“There’s no question that they’re getting some kind of satisfaction out of it because they continue to spend the money.”
Others with deep pockets include public employee unions, pharmaceutical firms and Indian tribes that operate casinos. Chevron, Phillip Morris, AT&T and PG&E were also in the top 15.