LANSING – Michigan’s top 150 political action committees (PACs) have raised $12,651,003 since January 1, 2011, according to reports filed with the Michigan Department of State and compiled by the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
That figure is up by 4.9 percent compared to the same date last election cycle, but down compared to the same point in the 2006 and 2008 cycles.
The House Republican Campaign Committee raised the most so far this year: $880,000, up 114 percent compared to two years ago. The Senate Republican Campaign Committee is second on the list with $748,000, up by 40 percent. The House Democratic Fund is third with $691,000, down by 18.5 percent.
The rest of the ten leading fundraising committees includes: Blue Cross/Blue Shield PAC, $461,000; Michigan Education Association PAC, $408,000; Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $340,000; Michigan Health and Hospital Association, $307,000; Michigan Association of Realtors, $286,000; Senate Democratic Fund, $278,000; and the Michigan Association for Justice PAC, $277,000.
Business Leaders for Michigan has raised $319,000 for its two PACs. Its corporate PAC has raised $213,000 that can be used only for independent expenditures. Its original PAC has raised $116,000 from persons, which can be contributed to candidate committees. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has raised $258,000 for its two PACs, including $96,000 in its corporate PAC.
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has the state’s top leadership PAC, having raised $248,000. Speaker of the House Jase Bolger has raised $199,500, good for second place among leadership PACs. Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s PAC ranks third at $134,000. Gov. Rick Snyder’s One Tough Nerd PAC has raised just $20,000.
Notable among new PACs this cycle are two committees that were formed for recall campaigns. The Committee Against Government Overreach has raised $146,000 for the recall of Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc), with 96 percent of that total coming from the Michigan Education Association. The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder raised $64,000 and now has changed its name to Michigan Rising.
Keeping up with the Morouns
The Moroun family of Grosse Pointe, owners of the Ambassador Bridge, who have been engaged in an effort to block the New International Trade Crossing, have given $96,500 to various PACs so far this year. Top recipients include the House Republican Campaign Committee: $20,000; Speaker Jase Bolger’s leadership PAC: $15,000; Senate Republican Campaign Committee: $10,000; House Democratic Fund: $10,000; Senate Democratic Fund: $10,000; Rep. Pete Lund’s LUND Fund: $10,000; Macomb Businesses United: $10,000; Rep. Jim Stamas’s leadership PAC: $5,000; Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s leadership PAC: $1,000; and North Oakland PAC: $4,000.
North Oakland PAC also received $12,000 this reporting period from former Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop’s Knights of the Round Table (KORT) PAC. KORT PAC received $50,000 from the Morouns last October. In September of this year, North Oakland PAC made in-kind contributions of $6,144 to the campaign committee of Sen. Mike Kowall, chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, where the Bridge bill was killed, and $3,144 to his wife, Rep. Eileen Kowall, “4 GOODS/SERVICES PURCHASED.”
There will be no reporting of the Moroun’s direct contributions to candidate committees until January 31, 2012, fourteen months after officeholders’ last reports.