Who tried to buy the 2014 state elections?

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The Center for Public Integrity compiled a list of the top donors in the 2014 elections to all state-level races — from governors to state legislators — and compiled separate lists of the top five donors for each state. To determine the sugar daddies of state politics, reporters reviewed three types of destinations for political giving: candidates’ campaigns, state political parties, and independent groups that typically campaign for or against candidates. Full methodology.

  1. 1.

    Republican Governors Association

    A national group that advocates for the election of Republican governors.
    $68.6 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  2. 2.

    Democratic Governors Association

    A national group that advocates for the election of Democratic governors.
    $31.6 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  3. 3.

    Charlie Crist campaign committee

    The campaign committee of Florida's unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.
    $28.6 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  4. 4.

    Let's Get To Work

    Political action committee affiliated with Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott and funded largely by the Republican Governors Association.
    $19.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  5. 5.

    NextGen Climate Action Committee

    A national group run by billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer that backs pro-environment candidates and groups.
    $19.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  6. 6.

    American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

    A national labor union that represents government employees.
    $19.2 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  7. 7.

    Bruce and Diana Rauner

    Newly elected Republican governor of Illinois, who made his fortune in private equity, and his wife.
    $14.4 million*
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  8. 8.

    Andrew M. Cuomo campaign committee

    The campaign committee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
    $12.9 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  9. 9.

    Republican Party of Florida

    State branch of the Republican Party.
    $12.3 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  10. 10.

    Tom and Frances Wolf

    Newly elected Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and kitchen cabinet magnate.
    $10 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  11. 11.

    Ohio Republican Party

    State branch of the Republican Party.
    $9 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  12. 12.

    Charles Munger Jr.

    A Stanford University physicist and son of the Berkshire Hathway executive of the same name.
    $8.7 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  13. 13.

    Sheldon G. Adelson

    A billionaire casino magnate who supports Republican candidates and organizatons.
    $8.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  14. 14.

    Michael R. Bloomberg

    A billionaire who backs political moderates and the former mayor of New York City.
    $8.3 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  15. 15.

    Ken Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin

    Conservative billionaire hedge fund manager and his soon-to-be ex-wife, also a hedge fund manager.
    $7.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  16. 16.

    AT&T and affiliated PACs

    A multinational telecommunications company.
    $7.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  17. 17.

    California Association of Realtors

    A trade association that advocates for California realtors' interests in federal, state and local government.
    $6.8 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  18. 18.

    National Education Association

    A national labor union that represents public school employees.
    $6.8 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  19. 19.

    Rick Scott

    Florida's governor and a former health care executive.
    $6.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  20. 20.

    Ann Scott

    Wife of Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
    $6.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  21. 21.

    American Federation of Teachers

    A national teachers union and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
    $6.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  22. 22.

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce and related entities

    A trade association that advocates for pro-business legislation.
    $6.3 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  23. 23.

    California Democratic Party

    State branch of the Democratic Party.
    $6 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  24. 24.

    Florida Democratic Party

    State branch of the Democratic Party.
    $5.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  25. 25.

    Christine N. Jones

    Unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona and former GoDaddy executive.
    $5.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  26. 26.

    Republican State Leadership Committee

    A national group that advocates for the election of Republican state lawmakers.
    $5.7 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  27. 27.

    Mary P. Burke

    Unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Wisconsin and a former Trek Bicycle Corporation executive.
    $5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  28. 28.

    Florida Chamber of Commerce

    A trade association that advocates for businesses in Florida.
    $4.7 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  29. 29.

    Illinois Education Association

    The Illinois chapter of the National Education Association, a labor union that represents public school employees.
    $4.6 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  30. 30.

    Republican Attorneys General Association

    A national group, which grew out of the Republican State Leadership Committee, that advocates for the election of Republican attorneys general.
    $4.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  31. 31.

    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

    A national labor union that represents electrical workers.
    $4.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  32. 32.

    Paul E. Singer

    Billionaire hedge fund manager and frequent Republican donor.
    $4.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  33. 33.

    Wal-Mart

    A multinational retail corporation.
    $4.3 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  34. 34.

    Iowa Democratic Party

    State branch of the Democratic Party.
    $4.2 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  35. 35.

    Iowa Republican Party

    State branch of the Republican Party.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  36. 36.

    Comcast

    A mass media company that provides Internet and cable in 40 states.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  37. 37.

    Duke Energy

    The largest electric utility company in the U.S., which serves the Southeast and Midwest.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  38. 38.

    David Koch

    Billionaire Koch Industries executive who is a frequent Republican donor.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  39. 39.

    Bruce Rauner campaign committee

    The campaign of the newly elected Republican governor of Illinois.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  40. 40.

    Walt Disney Co.

    A multinational mass media corporation with major resorts in Florida and California.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  41. 41.

    Terry McAuliffe campaign committee

    The campaign of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who was elected in 2013.
    $4.1 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  42. 42.

    Illinois Democratic Party

    State branch of the Democratic Party.
    $3.9 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  43. 43.

    Tom Ervin

    A former judge and unsuccessful 2014 independent gubernatorial candidate in South Carolina.
    $3.8 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  44. 44.

    California State Council of Service Employees

    A California branch of the Service Employees International Union.
    $3.7 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  45. 45.

    International Brotherhood of Teamsters

    A national labor union that primarily represents the interests of freight drivers and warehouse workers.
    $4.5 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  46. 46.

    ETC Capital

    A financial firm founded by Manoj Bhargava, who also created Living Essentials, the company that produces the 5-Hour Energy drink.
    $3.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  47. 47.

    New York Senate Republican campaign committee

    A state branch of the Republican Party.
    $3.4 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  48. 48.

    John Templeton Jr.

    Conservative donor and son of the billionaire investor and philanthropist of the same name.
    $3.3 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  49. 49.

    PhRMA

    A trade association that represents the pharmaceutical industry.
    $3.2 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates
  50. 50.

    Ohio House Republican campaign committee

    A state branch of the Republican Party.
    $3.2 million
    contributed to 2014
    state candidates

Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Federal Election Commission, Internal Revenue Service and state campaign finance agencies.

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