Big business crushed ballot measures in 2014 – Corporate interests pump more than $200 million into initiative fights

Source: Liz Essley Whyte, Center for Public Integrity, Who’s Calling the Shots in State Politics?, February 5, 2015

Key findings:
– More than three-quarters of the $266 million given by the top 50 donors to ballot measure groups nationwide ahead of the 2014 elections came from corporations or business trade groups.
– Business interests among the top 50 donors were almost always successful, winning 96 percent of the time.
– Four out of every five dollars that the top contributing business groups gave to ballot measure fights went to the sides trying to defeat the proposals.
– Totaling $88 million, health care groups gave more than any industry among the top 50 donors. Casino companies were a close second, giving nearly $60 million across the nation to 2014 ballot measure fights.
– Five of the top 50 ballot measure contributors also gave big for elective office and were among the top 50 donors to races for state-level candidates: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, the California Democratic Party and the National Education Association teachers union.
Related:
States consider requiring shareholder approval for political gifts – Buzz for legislation growing among other states in wake of ‘Citizens United’ decision
Source: Liz Essley Whyte, Center for Public Integrity, Who’s Calling the Shots in State Politics?, February 17, 2015

National donors pick winners in state elections – Top 50 contributors dump $440 million into 2014 races
Source: Ben Wieder, Kytja Weir, Reity O’Brien, Rachel Baye, Center for Public Integrity, Who’s Calling the Shots in State Politics?, January 28, 2015

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Source: Michael Beckel, Jared Bennett, Center for Public Integrity, Primary Source, January 21, 2015