Breakdown of Top 10 Contributors 2014 vs. 2016

More than 85% of All Contributions on Ballot Measures

Amount Contributed by Entity

Corporation: a for-profit incorporated organization that is privately-owned or owned by stockholders.

Association: an organization (e.g., 501(c)(6)) of persons having a common interest or profession that is not a union and does not spend funds from a political action committee or issues committee. This category includes recipient committees of associations.

Committee: a candidate committee, ballot measure committee, general purpose committee, political action committee. Does not include sponsored committees, political party committees, or recipient committees of an association.

Individual: an individual and their affiliated entities after aggregation. This includes a committee or nonprofit where the individual is the sole donor.

Union: a labor union (e.g., 501(c)(5)) or its affiliated committees or associations.

Nonprofit: an organization incorporated as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or nonprofit healthcare provider.

Tribe: Native American tribe, band, nation, group, or community and its affiliated companies (e.g., Indian reservation casinos).

Party: a political party, county central committees, or statewide charter organization. 

Methodology for Top Ten Visualizations

During each state general election, the Fair Political Practices Commission receives information from certain ballot measure committees disclosing their top ten contributors of $50,000 or more. The information is disclosed on the Form T-10. The “top ten” data was imported into a spreadsheet where duplicates were accounted for and deleted. The data was then used to create visualizations, filters, and calculations to provide the public a deeper analysis and understanding of “top ten” contributor data. FPPC staff designated each contributor into a category by reviewing websites, governing documents, and tax designation (e.g., IRS 501(c)(6)) to place each contributor within a reasonable category.


Methodology for Top Ten vs. Everyone Else Visualization

Staff subtracted the total number of “top ten” contributors from the total number of contributors to find the difference of “top ten” versus “non-top ten” contributors. The same method was followed to find the difference between total amount contributed by top ten contributors from total contributed by all other donors. The calculations were then used to produce a visualization. Data from the Secretary of State’s Cal-Access system provided the total number of contributors that gave $100 or more to a state ballot measure as well as the total amount of contributions to state ballot measures (accounting for the Secretary’s adjustments).