From an analysis of thousands of lobbyist disclosure reports, the Sacramento Bee has developed a database that tracks gifts to state lawmakers between January 2008 and June 2009. During those 18 months, lobbyists gave legislators, their staffs, and relatives about $610,000 in gifts, including concert tickets, 424 meals at the upscale Sacramento restaurant Spataro (average cost: $57 a meal), kegs of beer, and free travel to destinations from Hawaii to Hungary. (While legislators may not accept more than $420 in gifts annually from a single organization, there is no restriction on gifts to lawmakers’ friends and families.)
As of January 18, money spent on the four Indian casino compact initiatives (Propositions 94-97) has shot over the $100 million mark, making the gambling initative battle the costliest in state history, according to an article from the Copley News Service. (The total is not all that surprising when you consider the flood of TV ads in support of and in opposition to the measures that have hit state airwaves in the past month.)
The four tribes advocating the ballot measures have collectively spent an estimated $82.7 million. The opposition to the measures, which comes largely from two other casino-operating tribes (the Pala Band of Mission Indians and the United Auburn Indian Community), a casino workers union, and the owners of the Hollywood Park and Bay Meadows race tracks, have spent an estimated $25.9 million.
See the IGS Library’s informative web resources covering the gaming initiatives here.
No fewer than four initiatives that would ban same-sex marriage and/or domestic partnership benefits in California (as well as anything resembling them, including, for instance, hospital visitation rights) are circulating for the 2008 ballot. In view of that fact, it’s instructive to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. A new report from the National Institute on Money in State Politics takes a closer look at the money behind the marriage amendments that were on the ballot in nine states in 2006.
In 2006, more than $18 million was raised in support of or in opposition to anti-same-sex marriage amendments in nine states. The states were Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.