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Realtors biggest campaign givers to Californians in Congress

February 07, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • MapLight, a non-partisan research organization, shows the top contributor to members of Congress in each state.
MapLight, a non-partisan research organization, shows the top contributor… (MapLight )

Reporting from Washington — The National Assn. of Realtors is the largest campaign contributor to members of Congress from California, according to a study released Tuesday that shows the nation as a sort of United States of Special Interests.

The analysis by MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization focused on money's influence on politics, determined the top five campaign contributors to each state's congressional delegation.

The realtors group contributed a total of $497,000 to California House members from July 2009 through last June and to the state's two senators from July 2005 through last June.

Emily's List, which promotes the election of pro-choice Democratic women, came in second with $394,837 in contributions to Californians in Congress during the period, which was designed to reflect the two-year terms of House members and the six-year terms of senators.

Rounding out the top five for California were Honeywell with $363,900 in contributions, the trial lawyers group the American Assn. for Justice with $317,000 and AT&T Inc., with $306,240.

MapLight created an interactive map to show the influence of corporations and special interest groups on congressional delegations around the country.

Some of the findings are logical: Ford Motor Co., based in Dearborn, Mich., holds the top spot in that state. The same for Memphis-based FedEx Corp. in Tennessee and AT&T in its corporate home of Texas.

Other findings weren't so easy to predict. JPMorgan Chase, for example, grabbed the top spot in South Dakota because the lack of a cap on interest rates makes the state home to the credit card units of several banks.

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