A reality of California politics is that it costs money to pay for political campaigns in such a populous state. It costs money to hire campaign managers, hire communications firms, buy political ads, and send political mailers. As a result, in Sacramento, legislators and statewide elected officials are regularly asking for and receiving funds from donors.
It is through campaign donations, independent expenditure campaigns, and direct gifts that both individuals and special interests, including polluting industries, help elected officials achieve their ambitions. And it’s how many interest groups representing or aligned with polluting interests maintain access to decision makers. Access often translates into votes in an industry group’s favor.
Sierra Club California is launching a year-long survey of certain special interest spending to legislators. Specifically, we investigate and disclose how much money certain legislators and the governor receive in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and its political allies. This report will be updated quarterly, and posted to this webpage.