California's state engineers union gave top priority to defeating Proposition 32, contributing $600,000 to efforts that turned back the campaign finance measure at the November polls.
Professional Engineers in California Government's PECG PAC's contributions to the No on 32 campaign accounted for more than one-third of the $1.7 million the engineers gave to campaigns, parties and causes, according to the 13,000-member union's political contribution filings.
Total political spending by PECG came to $2.2 million this year. Professional services ranked a distant second on the union's expense list, with the money going to a pair of well-known Sacramento-based consulting firms, Blanning & Baker Associates ($56,000) and Aaron Read & Associates ($28,000).
Blanning & Baker is the consulting/lobbying/labor relations firm co-founded by Bruce Blanning, PECG's executive director. (Click here for a piece ithat profiles Blanning as one of The Bee's Californians to Watch in 2013.)
As you look through the data below, tabs at the bottom of the table open other worksheets that parse the numbers in a few different ways.
Expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs such as fees paid to political consultants and attorneys. Contributions pages break out donations given to political campaigns and causes.
For groups that are not independently organized, such as SEIU, AFSCME, IUOE and others, the data don't reflect spending by their umbrella organizations.
This is the latest installment in a series detailing 2012 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity posted online as of Dec. 31, 2012.
To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out the National Institute on Money in State Politics.