Takings Initiatives Accountability Project

Published — October 3, 2006

Who’s Bankrolling The Initiatives?

An updated rundown of where the money’s coming from


In the four states with takings initiatives on their ballots this November 7 — Arizona, California, Idaho, and Washington — proponents reported having raised more than $5.7 million through September 21.

Organizations led by Howard Rich, a New York real estate investor, have contributed nearly $4.9 million of that amount, or about 85 percent of the total.

Rich’s organizations also bankrolled drives to put takings initiatives on the ballots in three other states: Nevada and Oklahoma, where state supreme courts found the measures to violate single-subject requirements for ballot initiatives, and Missouri, where the secretary of state refused to certify the initiative on the ground that the petitions submitted lacked valid signatures.

In the eight states, proponents reported a total of more than $8.7 million in contributions — about 88 percent of which came from organizations backed by Rich.

The Rich-backed groups include:

  • Americans for Limited Government
  • Club for Growth State Action
  • Fund for Democracy
  • U.S. Term Limits
  • America At Its Best
  • Montanans in Action

Rich heads Americans for Limited Government, Club for Growth State Action, Fund for Democracy, and U.S. Term Limits. Public records show that America At Its Best, in Kalispell, Montana, received a total of more than $2.4 million from Americans for Limited Government and the Fund for Democracy this year. While Montanans in Action has not disclosed its donors, Rich has acknowledged giving the organization nearly $200,000 this year.

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