MI Senate: Just let money have its way
The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that will increase the leverage over all things political of the 1% of the 1% of Michiganders who give maximum contributions to political candidates - at the expense of the 99.99% who don't. The same bill seeks to kill Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's proposed administrative rule to require disclosure of phony "issue" ads. Someone needs to administer the Hippocratic Oath!
Top PACs have raised $16.7M
Paced by a SuperPAC that is leaving a big footprint in the Detroit mayoral election, Michigan's top 150 state PACs have raised $16.7 million so far this election cycle. That total is up by 32% compared to the same point last election cycle.
- Press Release: Top 150 PACs have raised $16.7M so far this cycle
- Top 150 MI state PACs, 1/1-10/20/2013
MI U.S. Reps raised $3.6M in 3Q 2013
Michigan's U.S. representatives raised $3.6 million in the 3rd quarter of 2013, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That total is off by 20 percent compared to the previous quarter. Rep. Gary Peters, an announced candidate for the U.S. Senate, was the top fundraiser among the delegation at $1,032,411. Freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio was last with $60,207.
- Press Release: MI U.S. Reps raised $3.6M in 3rd Quarter of 2013
- MI U.S. Reps' fundraising, 3rd quarter 2013
- MI U.S. House challengers' fundraising, 3rd quarter 2013
Integrity and accountability in judicial elections
The State Bar of Michigan has requested a declaratory ruling from the Michigan Department of State to require disclosure of all advertisements about state judicial candidates. MCFN supports that request to bring integrity and accountability to judicial campaigns.
- Press Release: MCFN supports SBM request for declaratory ruling
- State Bar of Michigan Request for Declaratory Ruling
- MCFN Comment on SBM Request
- Campaign Legal Center Comment on SBM Request
Lobbying flat at $20.3M - but free lunch is back
Reported lobbying expenditures totaled $20.3 million in the first seven months of 2013 - comparable to the record-setting pace of 2012. But free lunch for legislators and administration officials is up by 48% compared to last year.
- Press Release: Lobbying expenditures comparable to record pace of 2012
- Top 200 Michigan Lobbyists, Jan.-July 2013
Political contributions and impartial justice
After Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry Saad contributed more than half his 2012 judicial salary to Republican Party committees around the country, can he claim to be nonpartisan? Does it matter?
- The Giving Judge: Which comes first, impartial justice or partisan politics?
- Why Michigan citizens should care about money in judicial politics
- Debunking the myth of the nonpartisan judge
Descending into Dark Money
Record spending and a continuing trend of diminishing accountability for that spending were the major features of Michigan's 2012 state election campaigns. Details are contained in the 2012 Citizen's Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance, released by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN).
- Press Release: Record spending, diminishing accountability in 2012 Michigan state campaigns
- Citizen's Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance, 2012 (pdf)