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Free Online Database Reveals Super PAC Money, Ballot Funding

Berkeley's MapLight offers 'Voter's Edge' for California, revealing campaign contributions, endorsements, and more.

A nonpartisan political money tracker located in the Bay Area has just launched Voter's Edge California, a detailed voter guide profiling current state ballot measures, and campaign contributions to Assembly members and Senators in the California State Legislature.

The free website shows how much money interest groups like gas and electric utilities and attorneys and law firms contribute to specific representatives in Sacramento.

MapLight, the company that compiled the data, hopes the information will "allow users to gain insights into how campaign contributions affect policy so they can draw their own conclusions about how money influences our political system."

For instance, Prop 32, a November 6 ballot measure voters will decide upon:

Restricts union political fund-raising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.

Taking a look at the Voter's Edge data on Prop 32, you'll see unions across the state have raised $8.2 million to date to fight the measure. Twenty-one percent, or nearly $1.8 million, has been raised by the union representing California Professional Firefighters.

Of those in favor of Prop 32, several individuals have contributed, whose accumulated monies total about $3.5 million, or nearly $5 million less.

Based on the cash disparity, you're likely to see a lot more paid political advertisements against Prop 32 than ads that favor the ballot measure as we get closer to November.

Voter's Edge also offers endorsement information, links to editorials specific to certain Props, news articles, advertisements created for and against certain measures, and summary information that shows arguments written by the campaigns for and against each ballot measure.

A guide to using the new Voter's Edge service can be found here.

What follows are specific links to each of the ballot propositions as found on the MapLight website:

California Ballot Propositions on the November ballot :

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