LANSING - Michigan's top 150 state political action committees (PACs) raised $9,509,565 between January 1 and July 20, 2013. That amount represents a 10.7 percent increase compared to the $8.6 million raised by the top 150 state PACs through the same period last election cycle.
The data were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Michigan Bureau of Elections.
The House Republican Campaign Committee led all PACs with $850,880 in contributions. It was followed by the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, $632,975; the House Democratic Fund, $546,253; the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Health PAC, $348,093; and Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $316,666.
In the SuperPAC category, Business Leaders for Michigan PAC II is the leader with $239,000. Second among SuperPACs so far this cycle is the Michigan Chamber PAC III with $113, 731.
Unlike ordinary PACs, SuperPACs are allowed to raise funds from corporate donors, but they are not allowed to make contributions to candidates' campaign committees.
Reflecting his apparent status as the legislature's top problem solver, Sen. Roger Kahn has the leading officeholder's leadership PAC. His Michigan Jobs Fund had raised $88,200 through July 20th. Sen. Kahn's second leadership PAC, the Saginaw PAC had raised $16,100.
Other leading officeholders' leadership PACs included Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco's Victory PAC, $69,600; Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel's Macomb Leadership Fund, $59,625; Rep. Michael Callton's Action Fund, $50,653; Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville's Leadership Fund, $47,850; and House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel's PAC, $42,300.
Senate Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof has raised nearly $56,000 through his three leadership PACs: Moving Michigan Forward Fund, $23,200; Arlan Meekhof State Senate, $21,091; and Moving Michigan Forward Fund II, $11,551.
The Democratic Governors Association Michigan PAC is the current leader in contributions among PACs that are new to Michigan this cycle with $50,000. Another notable new entity is the Madison Project Michigan PAC at $21,026. Its major source of funds is the federal Madison Project PAC.
"The top 150 PACs' receipts are at a level we haven't seen since the July 2007 reports, early in the 2008 election cycle," said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "But it's also worth noting that a number of leading SuperPACs from last election cycle haven't begun to feed their accounts yet this cycle. Political fundraising can go through the roof at the stroke of a pen, and that's likely to happen later in the election cycle."