This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.
California Association of Professional Scientists, which represents approximately 2,500 state employees, gave a nearly $160,000 to its political action committee last year, which spent about $41,000 -- none of it on the lobbyists, attorneys or political consultants that usually rank high union expenditure lists.
(The union did spend about $172,000 on lobbying to Blanning and Baker Associates Inc. and Aaron Read & Associates LLC, but the money didn't come from the union's PAC account.)
The biggest CAPS PAC checks, $10,000 each, went to the California Democratic Party and to Californians for Health and Retirement Security (the pro-pension labor coalition now known as Californians for Retirement Security).
As you look through the data below, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations given to political campaigns and causes. Tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet open tables with more detailed information of the union's political spending
To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.