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From the Reporters
The Question
We wanted to know whether major donors to school bond campaigns are likely to win contracts from school districts once the bond passes.
The Research
We looked at every school bond campaign in San Diego County since 2006, and focused on companies that donated more than $5,000 to campaigns. Then we approached each district to see whether the same companies won contracts from the district that were paid for with bond dollars.
The Results
We found a significant correlation between major donors and contracts in 13 of the 17 districts we studied. In some districts, that correlation was striking. In the business of bond underwriting in particular, almost every major donation was followed by the company winning a contract from a district.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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