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Michigan's Most Active PACs Set Record Pace For Presidential Election Year

The interest groups and caucus committees that will help finance the fight for control of the Michigan House in 2016 are on a record fundraising pace for a presidential election year.

It’s an indication that the 2016 State House campaigns could rank among the most expensive in Michigan’s history. At the end of the last reporting period, which closed on April 20, the top 150 Michigan political action committees (PACs) had raised $26.0 million. The number is a 17 percent increase over the same point in the 2012 cycle.

Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Proposes Limiting PAC Giving To Candidates

As political action committees (PACs) continue to break fundraising records in Michigan, a bipartisan group of House members is hoping to decrease their influence.

A bill, introduced earlier this month, would cut in half the maximum amount PACs can give state candidates. Currently, Michigan law allows PACs to give 10 times the maximum amount individuals can give. House Bill 5632, sponsored by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), would reduce that multiplier to five. Read the full story by following the link below.

A State Of The City Address That Entangles Public Resources And Fundraising

One mayor's 2016 State of the City address is still drawing attention a month later, and it's not because of the policies he rolled out during the speech. The event raised thousands of dollars for a political action committee (PAC) while seeming to entangle public resources in the process.

And although the event raised money for a PAC, city workers helped put together a video presentation that went with the speech, and, according to emails, the mayor's office directed one individual on how to get tickets.

Big Donors Have Been Big Players In Fight Over Detroit Public Schools Turnaround

As Michigan’s largest school district faces a financial crisis, some of the state’s wealthiest campaign donors are entrenched in the fight over how to resolve it.

Through press releases, lobbyists, well-timed personal phone calls and perhaps even a slice of pizza, major campaign donors and groups connected to them are working to influence the future of education in Detroit. Read our coverage by following the links below.

Michigan House Member Wants To Boost Lobbyist Reporting Requirements

Lobbyists who shelled out record amounts in Michigan last year would have to release reports on their spending more frequently under a new proposal from a Republican State House member.

Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Midland) says his new bill, HB 5535, would increase transparency and would improve the timeliness of reports on lobbyists’ efforts to influence state lawmakers. Read more about the bill by following the link below.

See Who's Been Funding Key Lawmakers' Political Operations So Far This Year

Key state lawmakers collected more than $615,000 from interest groups and individuals for their own Political Action Committees (PACs) over the first four months of 2016. It’s money they can now use to boost candidates they support in upcoming elections.

Legislators in leadership positions — or those who aspire to leadership positions — often use personal PACs to channel large donations they can earn to others. To see a breakdown of who's been raising the most money and of who's been giving to the state's leading legislators, follow the links below.

Collecting Dough: How State Lawmakers Mix Fundraising, Legislating; And Sometimes Do Both

In 2015, state lawmakers held hundreds of fundraisers with the majority of them taking place within walking distance of the Capitol on legislative session days.

There were at least 315 fundraisers held by state officeholders in 2015 with 170 of them happening in Lansing on days when at least the House was expected to be in session. This is the story of those events and one particular fundraiser that occurred this week benefiting a senator who spent much of the event a block away in a committee hearing. Read the piece by following the link below.

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2016