revised, 5:30p, 10/26/2012
LANSING - Michigan's top 150 state political action committees have raised $34.7 million through the October campaign finance reports. That total is the lowest recorded since the 2004 election cycle for the state's top 150 PACs.
Rankings were compiled by the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Michigan Bureau of Elections.
The relatively low total reflects the absence of two PACs that topped the state list the last three election cycles: Coalition for Progress, which topped this list in 2006 and 2008, and the Republican Governors Association Michigan PAC, which the set the record as Michigan's largest PAC ever in 2010.
Another factor contributing to the relatively low total may be the huge volume of money flowing into state ballot committees this year.
The House Republican Campaign Committee leads the list of PACs this year at $2,413,905. It is followed by the House Democratic Fund at $2,012,838.
The rest of the top ten PACs are: Senate republican Campaign Committee, $1,552,849; Michigan Association of Justice PAC, $1,495,502; Michigan Education Association PAC, $1,290,563; Blue Cross/Blue Shield PAC, $1,043,396; Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters PAC, $819,043; Business Leaders for Michigan's SuperPAC, $796,250; United Auto Workers Voluntary PAC, $675,688; and, Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers PAC, $675,688.
Three other SuperPACs rank among the state's largest PACs: California-based Students First, number 13, $604,427; Michigan Association of Realtors, number 20, $419,000; and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce PAC III, number 21, with $378,606. SuperPACs can aggregate corporate funds, but they are limited to making independent expenditures, rather than direct contributions to candidates.
Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville have the top officeholders' leadership PACs this cycle at $486,200 and $481,627, respectively.