The Color of Money in New York

Federal Campaign Contributions and Race

Public Policy and Education Fund of New York January, 2004

Color of Money in New York: Federal Campaign Contributions and Race

Acknowledgments:
The database that was used to do the research for this report was generated for Color of Money 2003: Campaign Contributions, Race, Ethnicity and Neighborhood, a national report released by Public Campaign, the Fannie Lou Hamer Project, and the William C. Velasquez Institute in December, 2003. PPEF staff used the data for that report to generate the New York data reported herein. Major sections of the narrative of the current report are also taken from the Color of Money 2003: Campaign Contributions, Race, Ethnicity and Neighborhood, and are used with permission. Funding for this report was provided by the Orchard Foundation.
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The Public Policy and Education Fund of New York is the research and education affiliate of Citizen Action of New York. The report is available at the Citizen Action of New York website: www.citizenactionny.org. Public Policy and Education Fund of New York 94 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12206 Phone: 518-465-4600 Fax: 518-465-2890 Email: ppef@citizenactionny.org

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Introduction Campaign money — not votes — is now the currency of our democracy, determining who is able to run a viable campaign for office, who usually wins, and who has the ear of elected officials. This study examines federal contribution data for New York State for the 2002 and 2000 election cycles by zip code, side-by-side with 2000 U.S. Census data on race and ethnicity. The unfortunate conclusion is that, in a political system in which you have to pay to play, people of color are largely excluded from the game. We examined $200 million in individual contributions (of more than $200, referred throughout the report as "$200+") to federal candidates, parties, and Political Action Committees (PACs), attributable to all the zip codes in New York State over the course of two election cycles, 2000 and 2002. We compared these data with U.S. 2000 Census information on race, ethnicity and income of people ages 18 and over by zip code. In addition to doing statewide analysis, we examined the data for eight regions of the State: Long Island; New York City; the northern suburban counties; mid-Hudson; Capital District; Syracuse; Rochester; and Buffalo. While campaigns, parties, and PACs are required to provide details on the names and addresses of donors of more than $200, they are not required to list the race or ethnicity of these donors. Therefore, to conduct this analysis, we use zip codes as the bridge between information on campaign contributors and U.S. Census data on race and ethnicity. This methodology has certain limitations. We are not able to pinpoint precisely how much money comes from a particular racial or ethnic group. Nevertheless, the geographical element is informative, demonstrating a pattern of exclusion from the political money game in neighborhoods where the population is predominantly people of color. It must be noted here that there are many complexities in determining how to present information about racial and ethnic minority populations, which are extremely diverse. While "black" and "Asian" are considered racial categories by the U.S. Census, "Hispanic" or "Latino" is not. Rather, "Hispanic" or "Latino" refers to ethnicity, and people who are Hispanic or Latino can be of any race. These issues are discussed more thoroughly in the methodology section of this report. While New York’s communities of color are extremely diverse, representing a wide spectrum of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, it nevertheless remains true that prior and ongoing barriers to quality education and employment increase the chances that Latinos and African Americans will be economically disadvantaged and therefore possess less disposable income to
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spend on campaign contributions. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Pacific Americans are more likely to live in poverty than non-Hispanic whites. The poverty rate in New York for non-Hispanic whites is eight percent, but for African Americans is 24%, for Hispanics 26%, and for Asian Pacific Americans, 17%. Latinos earn less than non-Hispanic white workers, and are more likely to be unemployed, as are African Americans. With fewer financial resources, is it any wonder that communities of color are vastly underrepresented in and lack access to the halls of Congress, state legislatures, and other governmental bodies? Many cannot afford to contribute to candidates, and if they do, they cannot contribute the large amounts necessary to buy the television advertisements and help of pollsters and consultants, crucial to modern campaigning. In the words of George Orwell, some people in this country are "more equal than others."

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New York Statewide Analysis
New York State ranks second in the nation in individual federal campaign contributions ($200+) with a total of $205.7 million in the 2000 and 2002 election cycles. New York is home to two of the top contributing metropolitan areas, New York City and Long Island, in the nation. The single top two contribution zip codes in America are in Manhattan – 10021 and 10022, with another Manhattan zip code, 10028, also in the national top 10. In all of New York, 94% of the campaign cash comes from predominantly non-Hispanic white zip codes, while only 71% of the population lives in these neighborhoods. Sixty-four percent of the state’s population is non-Hispanic white. One zip code, 10021, known as the Silk Stocking District of Manhattan, is responsible for $28.4 million in federal campaign contributions in the last two election cycles. This zip code’s 91,514 adult residents are 86.4% non-Hispanic white and give $309.84 per capita. The residents of this one zip code gave more than twice the amount of money than the 146 zip codes in New York State that have more than 50% people of color residing in them, despite the fact that these zip codes represent over 45 times more adults (4,166,684). The per capita giving of these communities of color is only $3.17, a fraction (1%) of the amount donated by the residents of the Silk Stocking zip code, 10021. The top two giving zip codes accounted for over 21% of all federal campaign contributions in the state ($43.5 million), yet accounted for 0.84% of the population. In comparison, all 146 zip codes in the state with over 50% people of color accounted for only 6.4% of all campaign giving ($13.2 million) yet contain 29.2% of the state’s population. There are 47 zip codes in New York with over 90% people of color residing in them, representing 11.6% of the state’s population. These 47 zip codes gave only $1.8 million combined, representing less than one percent of all campaign giving in New York.

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New York Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$250,000,000

$205,682,579

$200,000,000

All 1593 New York Zip Codes
Total $ Given $150,000,000

Top 2 Zip Codes (86% White) All 146 Zips <50% White All 47 Zips <10% White

$100,000,000

$50,000,000

$43,503,975

$13,212,279 $0 $1,829,997

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Long Island Analysis
Long Island includes all of Suffolk County, most of Nassau County and the Rockaways of New York City, the 161 zip codes that begin with prefixes 115, 116, 117, 118 and 119. The way the US Post Office assigns zip codes led to including part of Nassau County in the New York City region, while putting the Rockaways in with Long Island. The adult population of this area is 1,961,186, 77% of whom (1,513,848) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions from the region for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $23,394,761. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 161 zip codes, 14%, or $3,286,957 of it came from just three zip codes: 11791, 11530, and 11743 (Syosset, Garden City, and Huntington). These zip codes combined average 87.4% non-Hispanic white. Those three zip codes represent just 3.5% of the total population of the region. The eleven zip codes with less than 50% non-Hispanic whites (11575, 11692, 11691, 11798, 11550, 11553, 11717, 11520, 11722, 11701, and 11590), Roosevelt, Arverne/Far Rockaway, Wyandanch, Hempstead, Uniondale, Brentwood, Freeport, Central Islip, Amityville and Westbury/New Cassel gave 6.1% of all federal campaign contributions or about a third as much as the top three zips. However, these eleven zip codes represent four times as many people as the top three zips. The total amount of campaign contributions from these eleven zip codes was $1,423,402. However, one zip code with less than 50% non-Hispanic whites is an outlier, Westbury/New Cassel 11590. This one zip code gave $957,840, which is about twice as much as all other ten zip codes with a majority of people of color combined. After researching this, we discovered that the Nassau County Republican Committee office is in 11590. Because the federal campaign finance data we are using includes soft money contributions, we feel that this is likely the reason for 11590 being unlike all the others with similar demographics. If we exclude 11590 from the analysis, the remaining ten zip codes that are a majority people of color donated just $465,562 or 2% of the region’s total campaign contributions. These zip codes represent 12.5% of the region’s population. The three top giving zip codes gave over seven times as much money as these ten, while these ten had 3.5 times more residents. The zip code with the highest percentage of people of color was Roosevelt 11575. With only 3.8% non-Hispanic whites living in Roosevelt, the residents gave only $2,600 in 2000 and 2002. Syosset 11791, however, which is 85% nonHispanic white, gave $1,175,231 or over 452 times as much as Roosevelt. The adult population of Roosevelt is 11,166 and that of Syosset is 17,938.

Long Island Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$25,000,000 $20,000,000 Total $ Given $15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000 $0 Zip Codes $23,394,761 All 161 Zip Codes on Long Island Top 3 Giving Zip Codes (avg. 87% White) All 11 Zip Codes with <50% White 10 Zip Codes <50% White (excludes 11590)

$3,286,957 $1,423,402 $465,562

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New York City Metropolitan Area Analysis
We defined the New York City Metropolitan Area as all of New York City except for the Rockaways and part of Nassau County. These are the 185 zip codes that begin with prefixes 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114. The way the US Post Office assigns zip codes led to including part of Nassau County in the New York City region, while putting the Rockaways in with Long Island. This leads to our analysis being slightly different from the analysis in the Color of Money report prepared by Public Campaign, but the findings are just as relevant. The adult population of this area is 6,157,964, only 39.6 of whom (2,436,314) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions from the region for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $136,142,144. New York City is the number one region in America for federal campaign contributions. People of color make up 60% of the population, but 93% of the contributions come from zip codes with a majority of non-Hispanic whites Over 68% of all the money donated to campaigns from New York City came from the top ten zip codes. These zips represent just 6.8% of the population of the region. These zip codes combined are over 80% non-Hispanic white. The ten zip codes gave a total of $93,226,104 between them, which is more than the totals for every other state in the nation except for California, Texas and Florida. One single zip code, 10021, the Silk Stocking District, is the largest campaign contributing zip code in the nation with $28,354,950 given in 2000 and 2002. This zip code is 86.4% non-Hispanic white and has 91,514 adults living in it. The residents of this one zip code gave more than twice the amount of money than the 146 zip codes in New York State that have more than 50% people of color residing in them, despite the fact that these zip codes represent over 45 times more adults (4,166,684). The per capita giving of these communities of color is only $3.17, much less than the residents of 10021. This one zip code also gives about 72% more money than the Metropolitan areas of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Capital District and Mid-Hudson combined ($16,494,712). The residents of 10021 gave about 21% of all the money from New York City but represented just 1.5% of the population. They gave 2.8 times more money than all 97 zip codes with more than 50% people of color combined, 17.4 times more money than all 44 zip codes with less than 10% non-Hispanic whites, and 15.3 times more money than all the residents of the Bronx combined. There are 97 zip codes in New York City with less than 50% non-Hispanic whites, accounting for 56.4% of the total adult population of the region (3,474,069). These 97 zip codes gave only 7.3% of all the campaign contributions from New York City at $9,987,007. There are 44 zip codes in New York City with less than 10% non-Hispanic whites, accounting for 26.6% of all adults in the region (1,637,014). These 44 zip codes gave 1.3% of all campaign contributions from New York City at $1,803,089. The 25 zip codes that make up the Bronx account for 15.1% of the population of the region, but they give only 1.4% of the campaign contributions. Over one third of all the money in the Bronx comes from one zip code, 10471, which gives $778,930 of the $1,856,256 from the Bronx. This one zip code is 71% non-Hispanic white, one of only five zip codes in the Bronx with more whites than people of color. Overall, the Bronx is only 17.7% non-Hispanic whites. The zip code with the lowest percentage of non-Hispanic whites, 0.8%, in New York City is 11212, the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. This zip code with 55,899 adult residents gave a total of $16,655 in 2000 and 2002. In comparison, 10021 gave 1,702 times as much money as 11212. The residents of 10021 gave $310 per capita, while those in Brownsville gave $0.30 per capita.

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New York City Region Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$160,000,000 $140,000,000 $120,000,000 Total $ Given $100,000,000 $80,000,000 $60,000,000 $40,000,000 $20,000,000 $0 $9,987,007 $1,803,089 $1,856,256 $93,226,104 $136,142,144 All 185 Zips in Region Top 10 Giving Zips (avg. 80% White) All 97 Zips <50% White All 44 Zips <10% White The Bronx

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Westchester, Putnam, Rockland Analysis
The New York City northern suburban counties included in this area are all of Putnam, Westchester, and Rockland Counties, and parts of Orange County. (A few areas of low-population in southwestern Connecticut may also be included.). These are the 125 zip codes that begin with prefixes 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109. The adult population of this area is 1,107,176, 71% of whom (785,872) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions from the region for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $24,993,455. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 125 zip codes, 47.3%, or $11,826,045 of it came from just seven zip codes: 10583, 10580, 10708, 10538, 10543, 10514 and 10549 (Scarsdale, Rye, Bronxville, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Chappaqua, and Mount Kisco/Bedford Corners). These zip codes combined average 83% non-Hispanic white. Those seven zip codes represent just 9.4% of the total population of the region. The top three zip codes for campaign contributions, Scarsdale, Rye and Bronxville gave 31.5% of all contributions in the region, or $7,883,399. These three zip codes represent 5% of the population for the region. Scarsdale (10583) alone gave $4.1 million, which is 16.6% of all the money in the region, but represents 2.5% of the population. That zip code is 83% non-Hispanic white. The twelve zip codes with less than 50% non-Hispanic whites (10553, 10550, 10927, 10705, 10701, 10601, 10606, 10607, 10801, 10977, 10523 and 10931), Mount Vernon, Haverstraw, Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Spring Valley, Elmsford and Hillburn gave 3.3% of all federal campaign contributions or about 14 times less than the top seven. However, these zip codes represent twice as many people as the top seven zips. The total amount of campaign contributions from these twelve zip codes was $820,098. Each of the top seven contributing zip codes gave more money individually than all the zip codes with a majority of people of color combined. There are 3.6 times more people living in these twelve zip codes than the top three giving zip codes, but those three gave over 9.6 times as much money. Scarsdale alone gave over five times as much money as all twelve zip codes with a majority of people of color, although they had over seven times as many residents as Scarsdale. Mount Vernon 10550 has roughly the same number of adult residents as Scarsdale 10583, at 27,483 and 27,950 respectively. This Mount Vernon zip code gave a total of $27,571 to federal candidates in 2000 and 2002 and is 84.2% people of color. While the populations of the zip codes are about the same, residents of Scarsdale gave over 150 times as much money as those in 10550.

Lower Hudson Region Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$30,000,000 $24,993,455 $25,000,000 $20,000,000 $15,000,000 $11,826,045 $10,000,000 $5,000,000 $820,098 $0 Zip Codes All 125 Zip Codes in Region Top 7 Giving Zip Codes (avg. 83% White) All 12 Zip Codes <50% White

The Color of Money in New York

Total $ Given

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Mid-Hudson Region Analysis
We defined the Mid-Hudson region as all of Dutchess County and parts of Columbia, Greene, Ulster and Orange Counties. These are the 130 zip codes that begin with prefixes 124, 125, and 126. The adult population of this area is 494,034, 83% of whom (410,249) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $2,069,691. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 130 zip codes, 21.7%, or $448,175 of it came from just one zip code, the Poughkeepsie suburb of Pleasant Valley (12569). This zip code is 95% non-Hispanic white and represents just 1.3% of the region’s population (6,540 adults). In contrast, the five zip codes with fewer than 75% non-Hispanic whites living in them (12507, 12428, 12550, 12508, and 12601) Barrytown, Ellenville, Newburgh, Beacon, and Downtown Poughkeepsie gave 11.2% of all federal campaign contributions while representing 18.4% of the population (90,679 adults). These five zip codes gave a total of $232,575. The one highest giving zip code gave over twice as much money to federal candidates in 2000 and 2002 than the five zip codes with over 25% people of color combined.

Mid-Hudson Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$2,500,000 $2,069,691 $2,000,000 All 131 Zips in Region Total $ Given $1,500,000 Pleasant Valley 12569 (95% White) All 5 Zips <75% White $1,000,000

$500,000

$448,175 $232,575

$0

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Capital District Analysis
We defined the Capital District as all of Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties, and parts of Saratoga, Fulton, Hamilton, Washington, Montgomery, Schoharie, Greene, and Columbia Counties. These are the 139 zip codes that begin with prefixes 120, 121, 122, and 123. The adult population of this area is 673,795, 89.5% of whom (602,997) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions from the region for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $3,853,916. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 139 zip codes, 24%, or $913,558 of it came from just three zip codes: Loudonville 12211, Niskayuna 12309, and Clifton Park 12065. These zip codes combined average 92% nonHispanic white. Those three zip codes represent just 9% of the total population of the region. Loudonville alone gives more money, $486,795, or 12.4% of the region’s total than all eight zip codes with less than 75% non-Hispanic whites combined, but accounts for 1% of the region’s population. Loudonville is 93% white. The eight zip codes with less than 75% non-Hispanic whites (12207, 12204, 12206, 12210, 12202, 12307, 12051, and 12175) Downtown Albany/Arbor Hill, Albany Second Ave/Delaware, Hamilton Hill Schenectady, Coxsackie and Summit, gave 12.1% of all federal campaign contributions or about half as the top three. The total amount of campaign contributions from these eight zip codes was $468,740. However, these are not truly representative of communities of color because they include zips of 12207 and 12210, which surround the state capitol. There are many lobbying firms and law offices in this area, which likely are the sources of many of the campaign contributions from these zip codes, not the residents of the neighborhood. Coxsackie is the home to the Coxsackie State Correctional Facility and Summit is the home of the Summit Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility. If we look at just two zip codes, we can see the disparity more clearly. Hamilton Hill in Schenectady (12307) and the Second Ave/Delaware neighborhood in Albany (12202) combined gave only $16,050 to federal campaigns in 2000 and 2002. This accounts for 0.4% of campaign contributions in the region but 2% of the population. These zip codes average less than 45% non-Hispanic whites. Even though Loudonville had 38% fewer residents than 12202 and 12307, residents there gave over 30 times as much money.
Capital District Federal Cam paign Contributions (2000 & 2002) $600,000 $486,795 $500,000 $400,000 $300,000 $200,000 $100,000 $500,000 $468,740 $0 $0 $468,740

Capital District Federal Cam paign Contributions (2000 & 2002) $4,500,000 $4,000,000 $3,500,000 $3,853,916 All 139 Zips in Region Top 3 Giving Zips (avg. 92% White) Loudonville 12211 (93% White) 8 Zips <75% White

Total $ Given

Total $ Given

Loudonville 12211 (93% White) All 8 Zips <75% White

$3,000,000 $2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $913,558

$486,795

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Syracuse Region Analysis
We defined the Syracuse region as all of Onondaga and Cayuga Counties and parts of Oswego, Madison, Oneida, Chenango, Cortland, Tompkins, Seneca and Wayne Counties. These are the 96 zip codes that begin with prefixes 130, 131 and 132. The adult population of this area is 585,614, 90.3% of whom (528,647) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $2,509,215. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 96 zip codes almost half (47%), or $1,171,239, came from just six zip codes: 13066, 13104, 13142, 13202, 13152 and 13035 (Fayetteville, Manlius, Pulaski, Downtown Syracuse, Skaneateles, and Cazenovia). These zip codes combined average 89.8% non-Hispanic white. Those six zip codes gave a per capita contribution of $28.94 to federal campaigns and represent just 6.9% of the total population of the region. In contrast, the eight zip codes with less than 75% non-Hispanic whites (13202, 13205, 13224, 13207, 13204, 13210, 13120 and 13072), Downtown Syracuse, the South Side, University/East Side, the West Side, the Onondaga Nation, and Georgetown gave 14.7% of all federal campaign contributions with a more of the population, 12.8%, than the six topgiving zip codes. These eight zip codes had a per capita contribution of $4.93 with a total of $369,967. Georgetown is the location of Camp Georgetown State Correctional Facility. However, we feel that we should exclude from analysis the outlier of zip code 13202, which is Downtown Syracuse and includes many corporate offices including Pyramid but also has numerous housing projects in which a disproportionate number of people of color live. The corporate offices and law firms located in this zip code may have been the reported address for many federal campaign contributions. By excluding 13202, the seven remaining zip codes with less than 75% non-Hispanic whites gave only $235,894 or 9% of the total money and account for 12% of the population of the region. The per capita campaign contribution from these seven zip codes is only $3.32. This exclusion also impacts the highest giving zip codes in the region. Excluding 13202 leaves five zip codes at the top of the giving list, with a total of $1,037,166 or 41.3% of the region’s campaign contributions. These five zips account for only 6% of the region’s population. Excluding 13202, the five highest giving zip codes gave over four times as much money to federal candidates in 2000 and 2002 than the seven zip codes with the highest percentage of people of color, even though they had half as many residents. The single greatest giving zip code was Fayetteville 13066 with $388,267 in contributions and 94.6% nonHispanic white residents. The zip code with the lowest percentage of non-Hispanic whites (49%) was 13205, the South Side of Syracuse, which gave only $17,014 and has 56% more residents than 13066.
Syracuse Area Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002) Excluding Zip 13202
$3,000,000 $2,509,215 $2,500,000 Total $ Given $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,037,166 $1,000,000 $500,000 $0 $235,894

All 96 Zips in Region Top 5 Giving Zips (avg. 96% White) 7 Zips <75% White

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Rochester Region Analysis
We defined the Rochester region as all of Monroe and Ontario Counties and parts of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Yates, Seneca and Wayne Counties. These are the 108 zip codes that begin with prefixes 144, 145 and 146. The adult population of this area is 808,878, 84.67% of whom (684,745) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $3,726,770.00. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 108 zip codes, 43.3%, or $1,613,864 of it came from just three zip codes: 14534, 14618 and 14610 (Pittsford, Rochester Twelve Corners/Brighton, and Cobb’s Hill). Each of these zip codes is over 91% non-Hispanic white. Those three zip codes gave a per capita contribution of $31.31 to federal campaigns and represent just 6.4% of the total population of the region. In contrast, the six zip codes with more people of color living in them than non-Hispanic whites (14605, 14608, 14611, 14619, 14621, and 14614), North of Downtown Rochester, Dutchtown, the 19th ward, the 14621 Neighborhood and Downtown Rochester gave 8.6% of all federal campaign contributions with a higher percent of the population – 8% than the three top-giving zip codes. These six zip codes had a per capita contribution of $4.93 with a total of $319,413. However, if we remove the outlier of zip code 14614, which is downtown Rochester and includes many corporate offices including Xerox and Bausch and Lomb which may have been the reported address for many federal campaign contributions, the five remaining zip codes with over 50% people of color gave only $100,437 or 2.7% of the total money and account for 7.9% of the population of the region. The per capita campaign contribution from these five zip codes is only $1.57. The three highest giving zip codes gave over 16 times as much money to federal candidates in 2000 and 2002 than the five zip codes with the highest percentage of people of color.

Rochester Area Federal Cam paign Contributions (2000 & 2002)

$4,000,000 $3,500,000

$3,726,770

All 108 Zips in Region $3,000,000 $2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,437 $0 Top 3 Giving Zips (avg. 91% White) 5 Zips w ith least % White $1,613,864

The Color of Money in New York

Total $ Given

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Buffalo/Niagara Region Analysis
We defined the Buffalo/Niagara region as all of Erie and Niagara Counties and parts of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties. These are the 112 zip codes that begin with prefixes 140, 141, 142, and 143. The adult population of this area is 991,600, 85.6% of whom (848,502) are non-Hispanic white. The total amount of federal campaign contributions for the 2000 and 2002 election cycles was $4,336,120. Of the total amount of campaign contributions from those 112 zip codes, 26.3%, or $1,141,735 of it came from just three zip codes: 14221, 14051, and 14127 (Williamsville, East Amherst, and Orchard Park). These zip codes average 94% non-Hispanic white. Those three zip codes represent just 7.4% of the total population of the region. In contrast, the seven zip codes with more people of color living in them than non-Hispanic whites (14208, 14204, 14211, 14215, 14203, 14201, and 14034) East Buffalo/Hamlin Park, University District, Downtown Buffalo, Ellicott District and Collins gave 4.3% of all federal campaign contributions with a higher percent of the population – 8.5% than the three top-giving zip codes. These seven zip codes gave a total of $184,716. Collins is the home to the Collins State Correctional Facility. The three highest giving zip codes gave over 6 times as much money to federal candidates in 2000 and 2002 than the seven zip codes with over 50% people of color. One zip code alone, 14221, which is 93% non-Hispanic white, gave three times as much money as all zips with over 50% people of color even though it has less than half as many residents.

Buffalo Area Federal Campaign Contributions (2000 & 2002)
$5,000,000 $4,500,000 $4,000,000 $3,500,000 Total $ Given $3,000,000 $2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $0 Zip Codes $184,716 $1,141,735 All 112 Zip Codes in Region Top 3 Giving Zips (avg. 94% White) All 7 Zips w ith<50% White $4,336,120

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Discussion:
When large groups of Americans are effectively excluded from our political process, then the very core values of our democracy are threatened. Because money has become the currency of our elections, determining who runs and who wins, those who don't have cash are not able to participate equally. The value of traditional grassroots activities, such as organizing a potluck dinner, or going door-to-door to get people out to vote, is severely diminished, despite the importance of these activities and how they demonstrate popular support. The politician who raises the most money wins more often than not, not the one who has the most volunteers. Many years of systemic racial discrimination in this country have resulted in severe inequities in the distribution of wealth among people of color. African American and Latino communities on the whole are far less likely to have access to wealth than the established white majority. The under-representation of these communities in a money-driven political system excludes them from full democratic participation in two major ways. They are not able to help, in as significant a way, their candidates of choice run and win, since money has become an increasingly far more important kind of "help" in campaigns than stuffing envelopes or putting up lawn signs. Second, incumbent lawmakers pay less attention to non-contributors than they might under a different system, because they hold no promise of financial support for the next election. This not only belies the American promise of political equality inherent in the Supreme Court's phrase "one person, one vote," but also has direct consequences that affect people's lives. In the 2002 elections, House candidates who outspent their opponents won 94% of the time. Even in open-seat races, in which no candidate had an incumbent advantage, the top spender won 79% of the time in House races, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Spending, in fact, is rarely even close. In two-thirds of House races in 2002, winning candidates outspent losing candidates by a factor of 10 to 1 or more. Furthermore, the amount of money required to succeed is enormous. In 2002, Senate candidates spent an average of $4.8 million, and House candidates, nearly $900,000. Where does all this campaign money come from? The majority of campaign contributions come from the wealthiest Americans. Less than one-tenth of one percent of the U.S. population gave 83% of all campaign contributions of more than $200 in the 2002 elections, according to CRP. A 1998 survey of Congressional donors by a group of academics funded by the Joyce Foundation found that nine out of ten donors identify themselves as white and that eight out of ten have household incomes of $100,000 or more.
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This elite group of campaign donors is hardly a representative sample of America. Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Pacific Americans and other races/ethnicities other than nonHispanic white make up 28% of the adult population. That means that nearly one out of three Americans is a member of a racial or ethnic minority.

A poll tax by any other name is still a poll tax:
The concept of structural barriers to democratic participation is an old, all too familiar one in this country. The Declaration of Independence famously declared slaves to be equivalent to 3/5 of a person, and only white men of property were permitted to vote in the new union. Even after African Americans gained the right to vote after the Civil War, they faced new impediments. White-controlled legislatures gerrymandered election districts, making it more difficult for African Americans to win elections. Many states also instituted poll taxes and literacy tests as requirements to vote, and these were enforced selectively against the black population. There was even a system adopted called the "white primary." In the South, which was primarily Democratic, the primary election was far more important than the general election. The Democratic Party declared the primary the internal election of a private organization, one that was allowed to exclude blacks. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "the net effect of these efforts was the disenfranchisement of nearly all black citizens and the removal from office of nearly all black legislators in the former Confederate states by 1910." It wasn't until the 1950s that the courts and Congress began to address some of these structural barriers to participation. In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gomillion v. Lightfoot, struck down an apportionment scheme in Alabama that discriminated against African Americans. In 1964, the 24th Amendment of the Constitution was enacted, which banned poll taxes in federal elections. That same year, in Reynolds v. Sims, the Supreme Court established the principle of "one person, one vote" as fundamental to equal representation without regard to race, sex, or economic status. The following year, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited the abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color. And in 1966, in Harper v. State Board of Elections, the Supreme Court struck down the use of poll taxes in state elections. All of these changes were important and necessary in strengthening the nation's democracy; however, structural barriers to equal participation have not been eliminated. And while much of this discrimination occurred against African Americans, given this nation's history with slavery, Latinos

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and Asian Pacific Americans also faced bias, especially with legal barriers constructed to prevent them from becoming citizens and, consequently, denying them the right to vote. Now, with the ever changing face of America, and many waves of immigration, these groups and other members of racial and ethnic minorities find themselves subject to similar barriers to full participation in this nation's political system. These communities suffer the consequences: school systems lack necessary resources; it is often tough to get financing to buy a home; their air and water is often dirtier. Meanwhile, the areas where generous campaign donors live are well served by the government with pristine parks, quality schools, and safe streets. One need look no further than the 2000 elections in Florida to see the ways in which people can continue to be excluded on the basis of race and ethnicity. After the contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore came down to ballot-counting in Florida, African American and Latino leaders called attention to many practices that discriminated against people of color. Thousands of voters claimed they were unfairly deterred from voting. The NAACP held hearings soon after the election and collected hundreds of pages of testimony that included accusations of intimidation, people being turned away from polls, and interpreters being barred from helping non-English speaking voters. "The bottom line is this," the Advancement Project, a national organization committed to building a fair and just multi-racial democracy in the United States, has noted, "even though the most overt forms of disenfranchisement have been outlawed, structural disenfranchisement continues to perpetuate inequity and exclusion." In this way our current system of campaign financing can be seen as yet another barrier to participation, essentially a poll tax by another means. John Bonifaz, executive director of the National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI), and Jamin Raskin, a law professor at American University coined the phrase "wealth primary" to describe this phenomenon. "Those who cannot compete in the wealth primary cannot find representation in government," states the NVRI website. If you can't afford to write a $1,000 or $2,000 check to a candidate, you are being excluded from access and influence as effectively as if Congress re-enacted the poll tax to charge people for their right to vote. It's that simple.

The Clean Money solution
Just because our current campaign finance system requires people to pay to play doesn't mean that there is not another way. Under the Clean Money, Clean Elections approach, already law

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in five states—Arizona, Maine, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Vermont—candidates who agree to abide by strict spending limits and to raise no private money can qualify for a full and equal grant of public funds for their campaigns. Typically, Clean Money systems require a candidate to collect a large number of very small contributions (say $5) within his or her district, which helps the candidate prove broad popular support. Once candidates meet these requirements, then they qualify for a full and equal public grant to run their campaign. Because the system is voluntary, a Clean Money candidate often runs against a privately funded candidate who may raise more campaign cash than is available in the initial Clean Money grant. To keep such contests competitive, Clean Money provides additional matching funds up to a certain limit. Such matching funds are also available for Clean Money candidates when a third-party group uses independent expenditures to boost an opposing candidate. Clean Money systems are still in their infancy, in place for statewide elections in Arizona and Maine only since the 2000 election cycle. Nevertheless, in Arizona, there are already promising results showing that the system gives a boost to candidates of color. From 2000 to 2002, Arizona saw a substantial increase in the number of Latino and Native American candidates. Thirty-seven candidates from racial and ethnic minority communities ran for office in 2002, compared to only 13 in 2000. Of those 37 people, 21 opted for public funding. The Clean Money, Clean Elections system helps eliminate the "wealth primary" for candidates of color by providing an alternative to privately financed elections. Where there is public funding available for races, there is no need for a candidate to have money or be connected to money to be competitive. The currency of the election is no longer cash, but rather the broad support a candidate can muster. Ordinary voters matter again—the principle of "one person, one vote" is upheld. Clean Money, Clean Elections legislation has been introduced in the New York Legislature by Senator David Paterson and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (S.3440-A/A.3453-A). Some 16 members of the Senate and 38 Assembly members have signed on as sponsors. The approach is supported by a by some 90 citizen organizations representing religious, senior, labor, environmental, tenant, student, women's, community, good government and neighborhood groups.

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