Energy companies, telecommunication interests and Indian tribes are lining up to write checks, as are unions and Sacramento lobbyists. 'This is definitely the new fad in influence peddling,' one watchdog says.
At a time when many nonprofits are struggling to remain afloat, watching contributions sputter amid an ailing economy, two small Bay Area charter schools are having a banner year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars gushing into their coffers.
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