New report outlines the outsize influence of big business at Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS Corporate Captive: Big Business at the Indiana General Assembly, a new report released today by Hoosier Action Resource Center, reveals how corporate power exercised an outsized influence at the 2021 session of the Indiana General Assembly undermining Indiana’s democracy and causing harms to everyday Hoosiers.

Ninety-one percent of all campaign contributions made to Indiana General Assembly candidates in 2020 came from PACS and large donors.

By profiling the campaign contributions and lobbying efforts of four major industry lobbies, Corporate Captive reveals how the priorities of this small, but powerful donor class, shaped the outcomes of Indiana’s legislative process. 

Kate Hess Pace

“Leading up to the 2021 legislative session we talked to over 50,000 Hoosiers about what they want and need from their elected officials. Not one person mentioned liability reform as a top priority during the session, but it was the top priority of big business and the first thing passed by the General Assembly,” explained Hoosier Action Resource Center Executive Director Kate Hess Pace. 

Instead of heeding the voices of their constituents, Corporate Captive details how many members of the Indiana General Assembly acted in the interests of their corporate donors regardless of the impact on or opposition of their constituents. A follow-up on Hoosier Action Resource Center’s first report, “One Year Under COVID-19: What Hoosiers Faced & The Indiana General Assembly’s Response,” Corporate Captive pulls back the curtain to reveal the power of organized money at the Statehouse.

“For our democracy to work, it must reflect all of us–not just the wealthy and well-connected,” said Hess Pace. “To outweigh the money and power of corporate interests in our state more Hoosiers must get off the sidelines and get involved in our legislative process.” 

To revitalize Indiana’s democracy and bring more Hoosiers into the legislative process Hoosier Action Resource Center will hold 10,000 deep conversations with Hoosiers across the state this summer.

Hoosier Action Resource Center is a nonpartisan community organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyday Hoosiers. We believe that all Hoosiers, regardless of how much money they make, should have a say in the decisions which affect our lives.