LANSING - The campaigns of Michigan's U.S. Senate candidates and their independent supporters had spent $32.3 million for television advertisements about the candidates through the end of September. That total represents gross sales.
Records of the advertising were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from the public files of Michigan broadcasters and cable systems.
Republican Terri Land and her supporters had spent $18.2 million. Democrat Gary Peters and his supporters had spent $14.1 million. Land and supporters outspent Peters and supporters in each of Michigan's six media markets.
With five weeks before Election Day, Ms. Land's campaign had spent $5.1 million, or 28 percent of the total supporting her and opposing Peters. Mr. Peters' campaign had spent $2.8 million, or 20 percent of the total supporting him and opposing Land.
Nonprofit corporations that do not publicly disclose their donors sponsored $7.6 million - 42 percent - of the ads supporting Land and opposing Peters. Nonprofit corporations sponsored $1 million - seven percent - of the ads supporting Peters and opposing Land.
The top spenders behind the Land effort have been Americans for Prosperity, $5.2 million, and Ending Spending Action Fund, $3.4 million. AFP is one of the family of political nonprofit corporations associated with Charles and David Koch. Ending Spending Action is a superPAC run by the Ricketts family.
Top spenders behind the Peters effort have been Senate Majority PAC, $3.2 million, NextGen Climate Action Committee, $2.6 million, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $2.2 million. Senate Majority PAC is a superPAC run by U.S. Senate Democrats. NextGen is the superPAC of San Francisco hedge fund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer. The DSCC is the national Democratic Party's senatorial committee.
"Chief Justice John Roberts' grand vision of unbridled political 'speech' turns out to be a contest of, 'My billionaires can whup your billionaires.' That doesn't feel much like democracy to the other 318 million Americans," said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.