Donor Tracking: Who's Funding Your Representative

Following The Money: This page is designed to help the public find out who’s funding their elected officials. The information shows state officeholders' top donors over time across a variety of giving methods. The data comes from the Secretary of State’s database and IRS filings.

The data was last updated Aug. 16, 2019. For candidate committees, the numbers cover through July 20, 2019. For political action committees (PACs) connected to officeholders, the numbers cover through July 20, 2019.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

About: Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat from East Lansing, was elected Michigan's governor in 2018. She won a competitive Democratic primary in August 2018 to earn the party's nomination for governor. In the general election, she defeated Attorney General Bill Schuette.

She previously served in the Michigan House from 2001 until 2006. She then served in the Michigan Senate from 2007 until 2014. She was the top Democrat in the Michigan House from 2011 until 2014 while she served as Senate minority leader. She was Ingham County prosecutor for a period during 2016. Also, according to her campaign website, after her service to the state, she taught at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

As governor, she raises money through a candidate committee, Gretchen Whitmer for Governor. Two 527 organizations also supported Whitmer's campaign for governor in 2018. One is called Build A Better Michigan. The other is called A Stronger Michigan. The two 527 accounts can raise unlimited amounts of money and have been filing their disclosures with the Internal Revenue Service.

In December 2018, former campaign aides to Whitmer launched a PAC called Building Bridges PAC.

As a state senator, Whitmer raised money through a candidate committee called Committee to Elect Gretchen Whitmer and a leadership PAC called Whitmer Leadership Fund. The PAC dissolved in 2018. She was previously connected to a nonprofit organization called Move Michigan Forward. The nonprofit organization dissolved in 2015. It didn't have to disclose its donors.

TALLY: Top Disclosed Donors To Gov. Whtimer And Connected Committees From 2011 To The Present

1. Democratic Governors Association, $2.56 million

2. Progressive Advocacy Trust, Ingham County Democrats Account, $2.17 million

3. United Auto Workers Michigan Voluntary PAC, $1.87 million

4. Emily's List, $1.31 million

5. Michigan Corrections Organization, $1.00 million

6. National Education Association Advocacy Fund, $1.00 million

7. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Special Account, $750,000

8. American Federation of Teachers, $750,000

9. Everytown for Gun Safety, $610,000

10. Michigan Laborers, $519,000

11. Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $470,500

12. Michigan State Council SEIU, $300,000

13. United Food and Commerical Workers, $300,000


DETAILED LISTS

Top donors to Gretchen Whitmer for Governor for 2019-2020:

1. Ford family, Detroit, $14,300
2. Auto Dealers of Michigan, $10,000        
3. Toni Sessoms, attorney, $7,150    
4. George Barnes, Heritage Hospital, $7,150    
5. Elizabeth Welch, attorney, $7,150    
6. Peter Karmanos, Mad Dog Technology, $7,150    
7. Barbara Lee, Massachussetts, $7,150    
8. Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy, $7,150    
9. Fay Beydoun, American Arab Chamber of Commerce, $7,150    
10. Gerard Anderson, DTE Energy, $7,150

Top donors to Building Bridges PAC for 2019-2020:

1. General Motors Company PAC, $10,000
2. Michigan Bankers Association PAC, $6,000

Top donors to Gretchen Whitmer for Governor for 2017-2018:

1. Democratic State Central Committee, $100,000
2. Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association PAC, $68,000
3. Bernstein Family PAC, $68,000
4. League of Conservation Voters PAC, $68,000
5. AFSCME PAC, $68,000
6. Michigan State Utility Workers PAC, $68,000
7. Michigan Laborers Political League, $68,000
8. Operating Engineers Local 324 PAC, $68,000
9. Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters PAC, $68,000
10. United Auto Workers Michigan Voluntary PAC, $68,000
11. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $68,000
12. Democratic Governors Association Victory Fund, $68,000

Top donors to Building Bridges PAC for 2018:

1. Michigan Community College Association, $2,500

Top donors to Build A Better Michigan for 2018:

1. Progressive Advocacy Trust, Ingham County Democrats Account, $300,000
2. Michigan State Council SEIU, $300,000
3. American Federation of Teachers, $250,000
4. Philip A. Hart Democratic Club, $250,000
5. DRIVE Committee, $250,000
6. United Auto Workers V CAP, $250,000
7. Emily’s List, $250,000
8. Michigan Laborers District Council, $151,000
9. Association of Journeyman of Pipe Fitting Trades, $150,000
10. Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $150,000
11. UFCW Local 951, $125,000

Top donors to A Stronger Michigan for 2017-2018:

1. Democratic Governors Association, $2.50 million
2. Progressive Advocacy Trust, Ingham County Democrats Account, $1.87 million
3. United Auto Workers Michigan Voluntary PAC, $1.55 million
4. Michigan Corrections Organization, $1.00 million
5. Emily's List Non-Federal, $1.00 million
6. National Education Association Advocacy Fund, $1.00 million
7. Build A Better Michigan, $825,000
8. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Special Account, $750,000
9. Everytown for Gun Safety AF, $610,000
10. American Federation of Teachers, $500,000

Top donors to the Whitmer Leadership Fund for 2015-2018:

1. Richard Whitmer, retired, $12,000
2. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $5,000
3. Michigan Osteopathic PAC, $5,000
4. Honigman Miller, $2,500
5. General Motors PAC, $2,500
6. Ven Johnson, attorney, $2,500
7. Catherine McClure, retired, $2,500
8. Miller Canfield, $2,000
9. Third Congressional Democratic Committee, $1,500
10. Ford Motor Company PAC, $1,500
11. Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC, $1,500

Top donors to the Committee to Elect Gretchen Whitmer for 2011-2015:

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $5,000
2. Meijer PAC, $2,500
3. Michigan Association of CPAs, $1,500
4. Ford Motor Company PAC, $1,300
5. CMS Energy, Consumers Energy, $1,250
6. Michigan Bankers Association PAC, $1,150
7. DTE Energy, $1,000
8. AFSCME PAC, $1,000
9. Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Health PAC, $1,000

Top donors to the Whitmer Leadership Fund for 2013-2014:

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $10,000
2. Gretchen Whitmer candidate committee transfer, $8,249
3. Michigan Education Association, $7,500
4. CMS Energy PAC, $7,500
5. Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, $5,359
6. United Auto Workers Michigan V-PAC, $5,000
7. Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Health PAC, $3,500
8. Emily’s List Michigan, $3,000
9. Auto Dealers of Michigan, $3,000
10. Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $2,500

Top donors to the Whitmer Leadership Fund for 2011-2012:

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $6,000
2. Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, $5,750
3. DTE Energy PAC, $4,000
4. Auto Dealers of Michigan $3,500
5. CMS Energy PAC, $3,500
6. Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Health PAC, $2,500
7. Michigan Manufactured Housing Association, $2,500
8. Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists, $2,250
9. AFSCME PAC, $2,000
10. United Auto Workers Voluntary PAC, $1,500
11. Michigan Credit Union League, $1,500 

Campaign finance reports can be found in the Michigan Secretary of State's campaign finance database. If you see an error in the above data, please contact us at mcfn@mcfn.org.

 

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