Reporting Charles Feldman
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new gold rush is underway in the state of California.
With the GOP convention over and the Democratic convention set for next week, both candidates for the White House are moving into high gear to raise money — and as KNX 1070′s Charles Feldman reports, it may surprise you to learn where most of the money is coming from.
California has become a veritable cash cow to candidates from both sides of the political aisle, with both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney both collecting more in the Golden State than any other U.S. state.
“This state has really become the land of milk and honey for politicians,” said Kathleen Miles, an editor at The Huffington Post, which recently detailed just how bipartisan California really is when it comes to campaign contributions.
Donors statewide have given $30,592,451 to Obama, while Romney has netted an estimated $17,568,562, according to OpenSecrets.org.
And in a state long considered “blue” by all conventional standards, Californians are clearly handing over a substantial amount of green to the GOP.
Miles said it’s all about the so-called “super-PACs”, or Political Action Committees, which are created by the candidates in order to facilitate and maximize fundraising efforts throughout the nation.
“Ever since Citizens United in 2010, individuals have been able to give unlimited amounts through super-PACs, and what that means is in California…it’s about 50 percent going toward conservative super-PACs and about 50 percent going towards liberal super-PACs,” said Miles.
Some of those donors on the conservative side include recognizable names such as Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, who tops the list for all total donations in California with $4 million going to conservative super-PACs.
Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney Chairman Alan Horn, and producer J.J. Abrams are among the top Democratic donors statewide, along with actor Morgan Freeman and comedian Bill Maher.