By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Just off Sanford Avenue in the 15,000-person city of Grandville, Michigan, there’s a small business plaza featuring two lines of glass storefront windows.
In one shop is Progressive Furniture Refinishing, 2863 Sanford Ave. SW. In another is Exceptional Auto Parts at 2865 Sanford Ave. SW. Then, a few feet away, there’s the storefront at 2885 Sanford Ave. SW.
It’s an address that keeps showing up in campaign finance reports this cycle. And it’s one that also illustrates just how difficult it can be to find out where the money flowing into the presidential race is coming from, even when the donations are disclosed to the federal government.
The Grandville address, 2885 Sanford Ave. SW., is the home of the business Mailbox Forwarding, a business that, as its name explains, simply receives mail and sends it on to somewhere else.
On Wednesday, two people worked inside among towers of boxes and envelopes.
A mysterious limited liability company (LLC) named TGGR Corp. has been using the Mailbox Forwarding company’s address as its mailing address on contributions to Super PACs supporting presidential candidates over the last year.
While TGGR Corp. is not a registered business entity in Michigan, it’s one of the top donors to Super PACs reporting Michigan addresses on their contributions.
TGGR Corp. has given $45,000 so far this cycle: $20,000 to Conservative Solutions, the Super PAC supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and $25,000 to Conservative, Authentic, Responsive, Leadership For You And For America, the Super PAC supporting former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina.
While it’s not registered in Michigan, TGGR Corp. is a registered business entity in both Delaware and New York.
But those registrations provide few clues about what the business really is or who’s connected to it. In Delaware, the company’s registered agent is Harvard Business Services Inc., a registered agent service in the state. In New York, the corporation’s address is a PO Box. Unlike Michigan filings, the New York and Delaware filings provide zero information about the business’s board of directors.
And TGGR Corp. is far from an isolated situation.
Across the country, journalists have been flagging strange business entities that have been giving large contributions to Super PACs this cycle. In the wake of past Supreme Court decisions, Super PACs that allegedly act independently of the candidates can accept unlimited contributions from corporations.
In February, the Sunlight Foundation flagged a series of “shady” LLCs giving to Super PACs. And the Associated Press reported that there was $4 million flowing from shadowy groups to committees trying to help presidential candidates.
Billionaire Frank VanderSloot, of Idaho, who had two businesses that gave to a Super PAC told the AP, "We're going to send bucketloads. This was teaspoons."
Earlier this week, the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission concerning an LLC that was set up and then, just 16 days later, sent money to a pro-Chris Christie Super PAC.
“Thanks to the FEC’s inaction, we’re seeing a growing trend of campaign donors skirting disclosure laws by hiding behind corporations to anonymously fund elections,” said Paul S. Ryan, deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, in a statement.
The Conservative Solutions Super PAC didn’t respond to a request for comment this week about the TGGR Corp. contributions from Michigan.