California Political Parties Boosted by Groups Who Also Back Their Opponents

Laura Curlin | September 05, 2017

More than 40 percent of the $60 million raised by California's major political parties during the 2016 cycle came from organizations that gave to both parties, according to a MapLight analysis.

The donations skewed Democratic; of the 117 organizations that contributed more than $25 million to both parties, 76 gave more to the California Democratic Party and 31 gave more to the California Republican Party. Ten gave the same amount to both parties.

The amount of money given skewed Democratic, as well. Among the groups contributing to both parties, the average contribution to the Democratic Party was more than two-and-a-half times greater than the average contribution to the Republican Party. In total, the California Democratic Party raised $39.8 million during the 2016 cycle. The state Republican Party raised $20.9 million.

While individuals, business entities and political action committees contributing to candidates for office in California face limits on the amount of their contribution, political parties face no such restrictions - making the parties a major factor in California politics. During the 2016 cycle, the two parties together raised twice as much money as the amount raised by candidates in the 2014 gubernatorial race.



Top Contributors to California Political Parties for 2016 Cycle

California Democratic Party California Republican Party
California Hospital Association*
No on 56 - Stop the Special Interest Tax Grab - Earmarked for Member Communication**
California Association of Realtors
California Hospital Association*
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
California Association of Realtors
California Teachers Association
Philip Morris USA

*California Hospital Association includes the California Hospital Association PAC and the California Hospitals Committee on Issues.
**Top three funders to No on 56 - Stop the Special Interest Tax Grab: Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds and Altria Group.

Top 20 Organizational Contributors Giving to Both Parties in 2016 Cycle

Contributor California Democratic Party California Republican Party
California Hospital Association $3,150,000 $1,055,000
California Association of Realtors $1,371,000 $850,000
AT&T $1,086,950 $637,969
Pacific Gas and Electric $920,750 $646,100
Chevron $415,000 $885,000
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians $415,000 $379,800
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians $505,000 $245,205
Edison International $390,000 $354,800
California Cable and Telecommunications Association $503,326 $240,000
California Correctional Peace Officers Association $485,080 $138,500
California Professional Firefighters $591,720 $11,957
California Dental Association $480,000 $119,800
Farmers Insurance Group $227,500 $247,700
Sempra Energy $270,000 $189,800
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation $400,000 $23,000
California Medical Association $297,600 $119,800
California Resources Corporation $165,000 $224,800
Blue Shield of California $242,000 $91,200
California Charter School Association Advocates $221,000 $110,000
BNSF Railway $185,000 $135,200

MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to California Democratic Party and California Republican Party during the 2015-2016 election cycle. All numbers are based on latest data made available by the California Secretary of State as of June 12, 2017.