The Republican Governors Association established a Michigan state political action committee (PAC) last December and it has ascended to the top of the list of state PACs with its latest filing. The Republican Governors Association Michigan 2010 PAC has taken in $4,162,586 since April, and so far this election cycle it has raised 150 percent more than the second most successful fundraising PAC, the House Democratic Fund.
Only $84,418 of the RGA-MI PAC contributions came from donors with Michigan addresses, although part-time Michigander Richard DeVos gave an additional $138,000 from his Florida address.
Top contributors of record are David Koch, $988,000, and Paul Singer, $500,000. Both have New York addresses.
The RGA’s large footprint put an otherwise soft year for interest group fundraising onto a path that may be record-setting. The state’s top 150 PACs have now raised $30,062,916 this cycle, a pace that is 10 percent ahead of 2008, and slightly ahead of the record-setting 2006 cycle.
The legislative caucuses’ PACs are clustered near the top of the list, as is customary, but fundraising is down for three of the four compared to 2008. Only the Senate Democratic Fund is up.
Jon Stryker’s Coalition for Progress is currently ranked fifth among PACs with $954,000, but recent history suggests that can be changed with the stroke of a pen.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, the United Auto Workers, the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Association for Justice round out the list of the top 10 PACs. Fundraising is up this cycle for all of them except the MEA.
“It’s clear that the wealthy and the interest groups are going to be heard loudly this campaign season,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “It’s about time that we develop policies in this state that encourage participation of small donors, as well.”
There are no limits on contributions to Michigan state PACs and political parties.
The accompanying table of the Top 150 Michigan PACs was updated 8/10/2010 to include late-filed reports. This news release has not been revised to match the updated table.