Don Sebastiani Earns Slot As a Top Political Donor in California

Chocking in at number 37, Sebastiani has donated almost $1.5 million since 2001, largely towards measures supporting increased regulation of abortion


The Bay Citizen has released a break-down of California's top 100 political donors and you'll find a familiar name close to the top.

Sonoma wine patriarch clocked in at number 37 on the list, with donations totaling almost $1.5 million since 2001.

Sebastiani's donates largely to ballot measures regulating abortion, shelling out over $1.1 million between 2004 and 2007 to support Prop 74, Prop 85 and Prop 4, all of which would require minors to notify their parents before receiving an abortion. His donations also show staunch support of Republican candidates throughout the years.

Transparency is especially important regarding large donors, explains the Bay Citizen, since their donations have a large influence over the outcomes of political campaigns.

"The state’s top 100 donors gave nearly five times as much to winning candidates as they did to losers," writes the Bay Citizen. "And they helped steer initiative campaigns to success as well – about 55 percent of every dollar they contributed to propositions aided a winning campaign, the analysis shows" 

Sadly for Sebastiani most of these donations have been in vain: He earned an underdog badge from the site for support measures which largely fail. Less than 1 percent of Sebastiani's causes have passed in elections, since 2001 he's donated $10,800 to winners and $1,476,261 to losers.

Scroll through the full list of contributions here; read about the Bay Citizen's newsgathering methods here.

Albert David June 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Interesting to learn that donations and funding alone do not necessarily determine the outcome of elections.
Rena B June 07, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Surprising to me too. I always thought the heavily financed candidates always won.


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