Today MAPLight.org, dedicated to illuminating money and politics, announced the results of its new study "Local Politics, Remote Money." According to the study, 78 percent of the money for California legislative races is provided by funders outside legislators' districts.
"It's election season, and California Assemblymembers and Senators are crisscrossing their districts, as they should be, looking for votes. It's just astonishing, then, that a whopping three out of every four dollars in funding comes from out-of- district," said Dan Newman, executive director of MAPLight.org.
The legislator with the highest out-of-district amount was Assemblymember Cindy Montanez from California's 39th District with 99 percent of campaign dollars coming from outside her district.
"Legislators depend on campaign contributions," said Newman. "They seek these funds anywhere they can. When the vast majority is generated from outside the district they represent, the voters -- their constituents -- must wonder if local interests are being trumped by outside interests."
When 99% of the money is coming from out of district, you really have to wonder if the voters are being heard. In California, the difference between being heard or not is how much big money is spent, not whether it is spent. If you aren't contributing piles of money, are you being heard?