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Immigration Measures: Support On Both Sides Of The Fence

July 23, 2009

Immigration issues have inspired hot debates in recent years. This was true in 2008, as four states -- Florida, Missouri, Oregon and Arizona -- had immigrant-related measures on their ballots. Only Oregon and Arizona had committees relating to these ballot measures. Take a look at who supported and who opposed these measures.Fast FactsIn Arizona, committees concerned with a business-backed 2008 ballot measure that would have made changes to the state's laws regarding the hiring of illegal immigrants garnered $1,141,546, over $1 million of which was raised in support of the measure.The committee supporting Arizona's business-backed Proposition 202 in 2008 raised $22,492 from individuals, or 2.2 percent of its $1 million total. The committee opposing the measure raised $28,260 from individuals, or 20.1 percent of its $140,350 total.The committee supporting Arizona's Proposition 202 in 2008, which would have made various changes to the state's laws on the hiring of illegal immigrants, raised more than $1 million. $879,634 came from the General Business sector, mostly from a $802,634 sum from an organization of business leaders called Wake Up Arizona!

Liquid Assets? Industry Raised The Bar to Resist Alcohol Taxes

May 6, 2009

States coping with the budget woes often raise taxes to help cover shortfalls. Frequently, "sin taxes" are among the first to face a potential increase. Businesses in the alcohol trade have responded with familiar tactics, contributing millions of dollars to state political campaigns all over the country.Fast FactsDuring the 2001-2007 period, California political parties and campaigns received $13 million from the alcohol industry, more than any other state. Illinois was second with $6.6 million.Many states are considering raising taxes on alcohol to help address budget issues. Over the last several years, the alcohol industry gave more than $34 million to winning candidates and to officials not up for election: the very people who decide the fate of legislation affecting alcohol tax levels.During the 2001-2007 time period, the alcohol industry gave $62.5 million to state political parties and campaigns. Anheuser-Busch and its affiliates led the pack, giving nearly $10 million.

Buying Broadband a Boost: The Information Super Buy-Way?

March 30, 2009

The federal government and many state governments are making efforts to increase or improve access to broadband internet services. With this attention in the states, communication companies are spending millions of dollars on state campaigns and hiring thousands of state-level lobbyists.Fast FactsThe five communications companies in the report hired 2,609 lobbyists around the country. Again, AT&T and Verizon led the pack, with 1,373 and 868, respectively.The five communications companies this report gave almost evenly to Republican and Democratic candidates across the country. Republicans received $7.6 million and Democrats received $6.8 million. However, the companies gave $6 million to Republican party committees, almost twice the $3.5 million given to Democratic party committees.California received the most contributions from the five communications companies in the report, by far. Recipients in California got $8.2 million. Florida was second with $2.8 million.Of the five communications companies studied, AT&T and Verizon dominated the contributing, giving $14.9 million and $10.8 million respectively. Qwest, Embarq, and U.S. Cellular combined for an additional $2.4 million.