See Who's Been Funding Key Lawmakers' Political Operations So Far This Year

Leading Legislators Raised More Than A Half-Million Dollars Over The First 4 Months Of 2016 For Their Own PACs

By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network

LANSING — Key state lawmakers collected more than $615,000 from interest groups and individuals for their own Political Action Committees (PACs) over the first four months of 2016. It’s money they can now use to boost candidates they support in upcoming elections.

Lawmakers had to report last week how much money they raised through their personal PACs over the first 110 days of the year, Jan. 1 through April 20. Legislators in leadership positions — or those who aspire to leadership positions — often use personal PACs to channel donations they can earn to other candidates in need of financial help.

The top 40 leadership PACs alone reported raising $612,814 over the reporting period. The top seven leadership PACs, all connected to high-ranking officials in the Legislature, raised about half that total at $306,177.

Of individual PACs, House Speaker Pro Tem Tom Leonard’s (R-DeWitt) Michigan Values Leadership Fund raised the most at $71,200 over the first 110 days of the year. Leonard is the chair of the House Insurance Committee. His fund’s donors so far this year included William Woodbury, Auto Owners Insurance executive, who gave $5,000.

However, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive), who raises money through a handful of different PACs, raised the most if his different PACs were totaled. Across three PACs, Meekhof raised $73,500 during the reporting period.

Below is a round-up of the top fundraising lawmakers so far this year and who’s been giving them money. Click here to see a ranking of the top 40 leadership PACs.

While PACs had to file quarterly reports on Monday, candidate committees don’t have to file new reports until July. They last issued reports in February.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive)
PACs: Moving Michigan Forward Fund II, Moving Michigan Forward Fund and Meekhof Senate PAC
Total Raised: $73,500; Average Per Day: $668

1. DTE Energy PAC, $4,500
2. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $4,500
3. Meijer Inc., $3,500
4. Dow Chemical Employee PAC, $3,000

House Speaker Pro Tem and House Insurance Chair Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt)
PAC: Michigan Values Leadership Fund
Total Raised $71,200; Average Per Day: $647

1. William Woodbury, Auto Owners Insurance executive, $5,000
2. James Nicholson, president of PVS Chemicals, $5,000
3. Spencer Partrich, real estate executive, $5,000
4. Mara Letica-Saad, owner Letica Corporation, $5,000

House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills)
PAC: Greimel For Michigan
Total Raised $47,750; Average Per Day: $434

1. Michigan Beer And Wine Wholesalers, $5,000
2. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC, $5,000
3. Health PAC, Michigan Health And Hospital Association, $3,500

House Majority Whip Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker)
PAC: VerHeulen Leadership Fund
Total Raised $37,550; Average Per Day: $341

1. Michigan Jobs Fund, $10,000
2. Health PAC, Michigan Health And Hospital Association, $10,000
3. Health Care Association Of Michigan PAC, $3,000

House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant)
PAC: Vision For Victory
Total Raised $36,925; Average Per Day: $335

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $5,000
2. Meijer PAC, $4,500
3. DTE Energy PAC, $2,500
4. CMS Energy Employees For Better Government, $2,500

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint)
PACs: Ananich Future Fund, Ananich Senate Majority Fund
Total Raised: $35,466; Average Per Day: $322.41

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $2,500
2. Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists PAC, $2,500
3. CMS Energy Employees For Better Government, $2,500
4. Axcess Financial Services PAC, $2,500

House Energy Policy Chair and Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton)
PAC: Nesbitt Majority Fund
Total Raised: $29,250; Average Per Day: $265

1. DTE Energy PAC, $5,000
2. Dow Corning Legislative Action Team, $2,500
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $2,500
4. CMS Energy Employees For Better Government, $2,500

Senate Health Policy Chair Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake)
PAC: Compete Michigan,
Total Raised: $27,501; Average Per Day: $250

1. Matthew Moroun, president of Central Transport International, $10,000
2. Ron Weiser, president of McKinley, $10,000
3. Michigan Bank PAC, $2,500

 

Caucus Committees Raised $1.69 Million Last Quarter

The four committees that raise money on behalf of the legislative caucuses raised a combined $1.69 million from Jan. 1 to April 20, according to their new reports.

Here’s a rundown of how much they raised and their top donors.

Senate Republican Campaign Committee
Raised During The Quarter: $530,375; Spent During The Quarter: $45,685

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $40,000
Moving Michigan Forward Fund II (Sen. Arlan Meekhof), $40,000
Realtors PAC, $40,000

Michigan House Democratic Fund
Raised During The Quarter: $502,643; Spent During The Quarter: $124,530

1. Greimel For Michigan, $40,000
2. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $20,000
3. Justice PAC, $20,000
4. Michigan Education Association PAC, $20,000
5. DTE Energy PAC, $20,000
6. Sam Singh For State Representative, $20,000
7. Realtors PAC, $20,000

House Republican Campaign Committee
Raised During The Quarter: $434,326; Spent During The Quarter: $29,574

1. Realtors PAC, $40,000
2. DTE Energy PAC, $22,500
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $22,500

Michigan Senate Democratic Fund
Raised During The Quarter: $224,906; Spent During The Quarter: $52,381

1. Friends of Jim Ananich, $20,000
2. Realtors PAC, $20,000
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $20,000

* Photos in this story come from the official legislative pages of the lawmakers.

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