PAC fundraising on record pace

Top 150 PACs up 45%

LANSING - Michigan's top 150 state political action committees (PACs) are setting a blistering fundraising pace in the 2014 election cycle. They have raised $39.55 million so far, which is 44.7 percent more than the top 150 state PACs had raised at this point in the 2012 election cycle.

The state PAC of the Republican Governors Association leads the parade with $4,681,646. A previous iteration of the RGA Michigan PAC set a record for a Michigan state PAC in 2010 with $8.4 million in contributions.

SuperPACs are a growing factor in the list of Michigan's top state PACs. Turnaround Detroit, a SuperPAC that backed Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's 2013 campaign, has taken in $3.17 million for the second highest fund-raising total this election cycle. SuperPACs are 14 of the top 150 Michigan state PACs.

Two new single-candidate SuperPACs, are making a mark in the Wayne County executive primary campaign: Turnaround Wayne County is backing Warren Evans and currently ranks 31st among state PACs at $270,250. Fix Wayne County Now, which is backing Phil Cavanagh, ranks 122nd at $55,000.

Michigan's campaign finance landscape is changing extremely quickly. Twenty-six of the current top 150 state PACs didn't exist two years ago. Some of those new committees are SuperPACs, but not all of them. Michigan Freedom Network, for example, is fueled by two individual donors of $100,000 andunlike SuperPACs, it is able to contribute to candidate committees. Michigan Freedom Network's main donors are former Michigan Republican Party chairman Ron Weiser and Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein.

The legislative caucuses' PACs maintain their customary positions high on the list of top PACs. The House Republican Campaign Committee has raised $2,460,213 (3rd), the Senate Republican Campaign Committee has raised $2,123,759 (4th), the House Democratic Fund has taken in $1,837,991 (5th) and the Senate Democratic Fund has raised $839,493 (8th).

Rounding out the top ten PACs are the United Auto Workers, $1,000,000 (6th), Blue Cross/Blue Shield, $907,976 (7th), Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $696,557 (9th), and the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers, $675,721 (10th).

Sen. Arlan Meekhof has the top officeholder's leadership PAC. His Moving Michigan Forward Fund has taken in $355,513, good for 24th place. He is one of a handful of elected officials who keeps multiple leadership PACs.

Other top leadership PACs include Tim Greimel for Michigan, $198,760 (42nd), Jase Bolger's Restore Michigan Fund, $182,500 (46th), Randy Richardville's Leadership Fund, $174,875 (47th) and Jim Ananich's Future Fund, $174,640 (48th).

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