MAPlight.org helpfully accumulated all the campaign spending on California’s nine statewide ballot initiatives and concluded that Charles T. Munger, Jr. was the top contributor. Munger and his wife, Charlotte A. Lowell, gave more than $12.6 million to two redistricting measure campaigns.
The California Teachers Association was second, with more than $11.5 million in spending on five initiatives. But the MAPlight researchers counted the $2.2 million from NEA national headquarters separately. It’s certainly their prerogative to do so, but treating them as separate organizations should at least merit an asterisk.
The same holds true for the California Federation of Teachers (8th place – $3.3 million) and its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers (17th place – nearly $2.1 million). And that doesn’t even count the Alliance for a Better California, a coalition of public employee unions, including teachers, that contributed $1.1 million.
All told, public employee unions spent $25.5 million on ballot initiatives alone.