Arizona political donations came mostly from individuals, data say
From the Arizona Republic:
The popular perception that corporate giants and powerful lobbyists wield all the monetary influence in politics doesn’t necessarily ring true in Arizona.
Here, the largest source of funding for candidates’ election campaigns comes from the average grass-roots voter. That was the case during the 2010 election, and it’s expected to be the case again as candidates gear up for the 2012 race.
“I think among the general public, there’s this misconception about the influence of money in Arizona politics,” said Doug Cole, senior vice president of government affairs for HighGround, a consulting group that works with many of the state’s most influential Republican candidates. “I think people think there’s a small amount of people writing big checks.”
But an analysis of donation data submitted by the candidates to the Secretary of State’s Office shows that the majority of the money comes from retirees, teachers and other individuals. That means candidates in Arizona have to court and listen as intently to the little guy as they do to the corporate CEO or lobbyist.
During the 2010 election cycle, $6.5 million flowed from Arizona donors to candidates running for statewide and legislative positions, and an additional $1.1 million came from out-of-state contributors. Retirees accounted for $1.1 million – or 14 percent – of the combined total.