A political action committee representing California's plastics industry recorded eight wins after contributing to a dozen state legislative candidates in the Nov. 2 general election.
The Plastics California PAC donated $26,000 in competitive fall campaigns, after making primary election contributions of $24,500 to 16 candidates.
``Our purpose - and it took a lot of effort - was to get the plastics industry in front of people whether victorious or not,'' said PAC Chairman Dave Anderson of Valencia, Calif., Western sales director for Berry Plastics Corp.'s container division.
Five PAC-backed winners of Assembly seats are freshmen legislators. Democrats Alberto Torrico, Joe Coto and Juan Arambula and Republicans William Emmerson and Mimi Walters will begin two-year terms in December. The PAC also backed two winning incumbent Republican assemblywomen, Bonnie Garcia and Shirley Horton, although the Horton race remained close pending a count of absentee ballots.
Republican Assemblyman Abel Maldonado had PAC support in his successful bid for the Senate.
The four losing candidates were Republicans Lawrence Stirling, seeking a Senate seat, and Dean Gardner, Steven Kuykendall and Patricia Rae Hunter, who were running for Assembly seats.
Fewer than 50 companies contribute to the PAC. ``We are trying to build that up and get more people involved in the process,'' said Tim Shestek, who provides PAC staff services and is director of state and local public affairs with the American Chemistry Council's Western region in Sacramento, Calif.
``The best way to achieve positive feedback is to meet candidates face to face,'' Shestek said. ``We made a concerted effort to bring the candidates together with industry.''