By CRAIG MAUGER
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Boosted by 18 donors who combined to give $720,000, Michigan House Republicans brought in more campaign cash than the three other caucuses in 2015, according to year-end reports due to the state on Monday.
The House Republican Campaign Committee raised $1.79 million in 2015. Of that total, $720,000 — or 40 percent — came from 18 donors who each gave the maximum yearly amount possible, $40,000.
Half of those 18 donors were members of the DeVos family. Daniel DeVos, Helen DeVos, Elisabeth DeVos, Pamella DeVos, Cheri DeVos, Richard DeVos Sr., Maria DeVos, Doug DeVos and Richard DeVos Jr. all provided maximum contributions.
The other nine maximum donors included John Kennedy III, president of the Autocam Corp.; Nancy Kennedy; the political action committee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Meijer Inc.; and Matthew T. Maroun, manager of the Liberty Bell Agency.
The House Republican Campaign Committee’s 18 max donors were more max donors than the three other legislative caucuses had for the year combined.
The House Democratic Fund had five maximum donors who gave a combined $200,000.
They were the candidate committee of House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), the Justice PAC, the Michigan Education Association PAC, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and the United Auto Workers Voluntary PAC.
In total, the House Democratic Fund raised $1.03 million in 2015, according to the new reports.
While the House Democrats raised fewer dollars overall, they had more individual donations than the House Republicans. The House Republican Campaign Committee reported 563 individual contributions while the House Democratic Fund reported 1,978.
In the Senate, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee received $1.12 million in contributions in 2015.
Of that total, $160,000 came from max donors. The Senate GOP’s top donors were Moving Michigan Forward, a PAC connected to Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive); a PAC for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Richard DeVos; and Dick DeVos.
The Senate Democratic Fund reported $580,848 contributions in 2015. Of that, $120,000 came from max contributors.
The fund’s top contributors were committees connected to Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint). Friends of Jim Ananich, the Ananich Senate Majority Fund and Ananich Future Fund PAC each gave $40,000.
Before 2013, individuals or PACs could give up to $20,000 a year to caucus committees. However, in December 2013, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder approved a bill that increased that cap to $40,000.
Later this year, voters will decide whether Democrats or Republicans will control the House the next two years. Going into the election, Republicans will likely hold 63 of the 110 seats.