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Fabian, maybe it's the friends you keep

If you followed the election fine print - those ballot measures having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain or Mitt Romney, you might be wondering what killed Proposition 93, the plan to alter California Term Limits for the first time since voters overwhelmingly passed the limits in 1990.

Prop. 93 wasn't exactly reform: it would have allowed 42 sitting legislators to escape their term limits and run again. But what killed it may have been the company it kept.

Spun as a way to squelch big-time lobbyists, the measure instead attracted huge checks from some of most entrenched fat-cat lobbyists in Sacramento. They gave like mad to keep their friends in office longer. Here's the list:

Top ten lobbyist donations to Speaker Fabian Nunez's Yes on Prop. 93 Committee:

$3,327,000 - Service Employees International Union (Political Action Committee and affiliate unions)

$1,500,000 - California Teachers Association (CTA)

$1,400,000 - American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

$1,090,000 - Committee to Protect California's Future (Political Action Committee controlled by Nunez. The largest contributor to this Nunez committee is CTA.)

$750,000 - California Democratic Party

$550,000 - California Hospital Association's Political Action Committee

$500,000 - Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

$400,000 - Mercury General Corporation (insurance giant)

$250,000 - Los Angeles Casinos' Political Action Committee

$250,000 - AT&T California Employee Political Action Committee

Top ten individual donors:

$100,000 - Billionaire and media mogul Haim Saban

$90,000 - Assemblywoman Karen Bass, Los Angeles

$50,000 - Billionaire developer Eli Broad

$50,000 - Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Torrance

$45,000 - Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, Los Angeles

$45,000 - Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, Los Angeles

$45,000 - Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, Fremont

$45,000 - Assemblyman Dave Jones, Sacramento

$45,000 - Assemblyman Mike Eng, Monterey Park

$45,000 - Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, San Francisco

Source: California Secretary of State, as of February 4, 2008. Some major contributions have yet to be reported.


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