15 State Officeholders, $4 Million In Contributions

Campaign Cash Is Flowing At The Top Of State Government: A Look At Which Michigan Elected Officials Have Received The Most Contributions And Where They Came From

By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network


LANSING — Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican from Midland, hasn’t launched a campaign for governor yet. But he is the state’s top law enforcement officer and he’s currently drawing more campaign contributions than anyone else in state government.

According to a new analysis of campaign finance disclosures, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents and voluntary fundraising reports, committees connected to Schuette have raised more money so far in 2017 than committees connected to any other elected official currently serving at the state level.

And state officials are raising a lot of money. The top 15 fundraisers serving in state government have combined to attract more than $4.4 million in contributions over the first seven months of 2017. Most of the money has gone to officials’ candidate committees, which collect funds for their own campaigns for offices. But the officials are also receiving money for political action committees (PACs), which help fund other campaigns, for nonprofit organizations and for administrative accounts.

Nonprofits and administrative accounts usually don’t directly fund campaign work. But they can pay for travel, conferences, event sponsorships, legal services and other administrative costs. Unlike candidate committees, leadership PACs, nonprofits and administrative accounts can accept unlimited contributions from donors.

For example, the Bill Schuette Administrative Account, which discloses its donors to the IRS, reported on Monday raising $77,350 over the first seven months of the year. It received $20,000 from Walmart on May 5 and $25,000 from J.C. Huizenga, founder of National Heritage Academies, on June 5, according to the filing.

Schuette’s nonprofit, On Duty for Michigan, has raised $70,000 in 2017, according to its voluntary disclosures. His candidate committee, Bill Schuette for Michigan, has raised $905,240 in 2017.

After Schuette on the list of top fundraisers so far this year are Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a Republican from Portland, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, a Republican from West Olive, and House Speaker Tom Leonard, a Republican from DeWitt. Meekhof and Leonard control the agenda in the Senate and House respectively. Committees connected to each have received more than $300,000 in contributions so far this year.

Of the 15 officeholders receiving the most money to their connected committees and organizations, 14 are Republicans. Republicans hold the governor’s office and majorities in the House and the Senate.

The only Democrat on the list is Rep. Andy Schor, of Lansing, who is raising money for his campaign for mayor of Lansing. The primary election in his mayoral race is this month.

The following is a summary of which officials' committees have been attracting the most contributions so far this year and where the largest contributions have been coming from.

The numbers cover a period ending on July 20 for candidate committees and PACs and a period  through the end of July for administrative accounts. Transfers from one committee or organization controlled by the official to another committee controlled by the same official are specifically not included in this tally.

These numbers are likely not complete because many of these officials raise money through other organizations that don’t report their contributors to the public and that only report their fundraising totals on an annual basis.

1. Attorney General Bill Schuette, Republican from Midland
Total Contributions In 2017: $1,052,590

Candidate Committee: Bill Schuette for Michigan
Connected Nonprofit: On Duty for Michigan
Connected Administrative Account: Bill Schuette Administrative Account

Top Donors
— DTE Energy PAC, $39,500
— MI Energy First, $25,000
— J.C. Huizenga, Huizenga Group, $25,000
— Moroun family, Central Transport, $21,600
— Cotton family, Meridian Health, $20,400

2. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Republican from Portland
Total Contributions In 2017: $738,983

Candidate Committee: Brian Calley for Michigan
Connected PAC: MIPAC

Top Donors
— William and Barbara Parfet, retired, $113,600
— James Nicholson, PVS Chemicals, $63,600
— Cotton family, Meridian Health, $22,200
— Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC, $18,350
— Shaya family, J and B Medical Supply, $10,200

3. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, Republican from West Olive
Total Contributions In 2017: $325,393

Candidate Committee: Arlan B. Meekhof for State Senate
Connected PACs: Moving Michigan Forward Fund I, Moving Michigan Forward Fund II, Moving Michigan Forward Fund, Meekhof Senate PAC
Connected Administrative Account: Meekhof Administrative Account

Top Donors
— Business Leaders for Michigan PAC, $50,000
— Bruce Essex, Port City Group, $12,500
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $11,000
— Sand Products Corp., $10,000
— Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers, $8,850

4. House Speaker Tom Leonard, Republican from DeWitt
Total Contributions In 2017: $305,399

Candidate Committee: Tom Leonard for State Rep
Connected PACs: Michigan Values Leadership Fund, Michigan Values Leadership Fund II

Top Donors
— Business Leaders for Michigan PAC, $50,000
— John Kennedy, Autocam, $20,000
— Michigan Chamber PAC, $12,500
— Paul Gentilozzi, 3GT Racing, $10,000
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $9,500

5. Sen. Mike Shirkey, Republican from Clarklake
Total Contributions In 2017: $292,675

Candidate Committee: Committee to Elect Mike Shirkey State Senate
Connected PAC: Compete Michigan
Connected Administrative Account: Grand Lake Administrative Fund

Top Donors
— John Kennedy, Autocam, $40,000
— Jon Cotton, Meridian Health, $25,000
— Mike Shirkey, $23,626
— Paul Gentilozzi, 3GT Racing, $10,000
— Matthew Moroun, Central Transport, $6,000

6. Rep. Holly Hughes, Republican from Montague
Total Contributions In 2017: $267,262

Candidate Committees: Friends of Holly Hughes (House); Holly Hughes for State Senate

Top Donors
— Holly Hughes (self), $250,000
— Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, $2,800
— Auto Dealers of Michigan PAC, $1,000
— DTE Energy PAC, $1,000
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $1,000

7. Rep. Lee Chatfield, Republican from Levering
Total Contributions In 2017: $253,075

Candidate Committee: Lee Chatfield for State Representative
Connected PAC: Chatfield Majority Fund

Top Donors
— Jon Cotton, Meridian Health Plan, $30,000
— Matthew Moroun, Central Transport, $11,000
— Daniel Allor, Solomon Plumbing, $10,000
— Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC, $8,500
— Marvin Rubingh, dairy farmer, $8,000

8. Gov. Rick Snyder, Republican from Ann Arbor
Total Contributions In 2017: $225,377

Candidate Committee: Rick Snyder for Michigan
Connected PACs: Relentless Positive Action (state); Relentless Positive Action (federal)
Connected Nonprofit Organization: Moving Michigan Forward
Connected Administrative Account: Governor’s Club

Top Donors
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $52,500
— Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $30,000
— Making Government Accountable, $25,000
— Taubman family, $25,000
— Michigan Credit Union League, $25,000

9. Sen. Jim Stamas, Republican from Midland
Total Contributions In 2017: $216,055

Candidate Committee: Jim Stamas for State Senate
Connected PAC: Stamas Leadership PAC

Top Donors
— David Kepler, Dow Chemical, $37,000
— J.W. Fisher, Fisher Property, $16,250
— Michigan Chamber PAC, $6,500
— James Fitterling, Dow Chemical, $5,000
— Michigan Credit Union League, $6,000

10. Rep. John Bizon, Republican from Battle Creek
Total Contributions In 2017: $204,531

Candidate Committees: Committee to Elect Dr. John Bizon (Senate); Committee to Elect John Bizon for State Representative

Top Donors
— John Bizon (self), $190,000
— Pettalia Preserving Majority Fund, $2,000
— Kellogg Better Government Committee, $1,000
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $1,000
— Delta PAC, $1,000
— Michigan Osteopathic PAC, $1,000

11. Rep. Andy Schor, Democrat from Lansing
Total Contributions In 2017: $188,728

Candidate Committees: Schor for Lansing (Lansing mayoral campaign); Friends of Andy Schor (House campaign)
Connected PAC: Schor Leadership Fund

Top Donors
— Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 333 PAC, $15,000
— Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $8,500
— Lansing Regional Chamber PAC, $5,000
— Health PAC, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $3,000

12. Rep. Daniela Garcia, Republican from Holland
Total Contributions In 2017: $105,326

Candidate Committee: Friends of Daniela Garcia
Connected PAC: Garcia Majority Fund

Top Donors
— John and Nancy Kennedy III, Autocam, $12,000
— Health PAC, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $7,500
— VerHeulen Leadership Fund, $7,000
— Jack DeWitt, $3,500
— Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, $3,000

13. Rep. Jim Runestad, Republican from White Lake
Total Contributions In 2017: $101,524

Candidate Committees: Friends of Jim Runestad (House), Elect Jim Runestad For State Senate

Top Donors
— Jim Runestad (self), $20,000
— Health PAC, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $2,500
— Caldin Konja, Northwest Labs, $2,000
— David Buja, retired, $2,000
— Auto Dealers of Michigan, $1,500

14. Rep. Chris Afendoulis, Republican from Grand Rapids Twp.
Total Contributions In 2017: $91,800

Candidate Committee: Chris Afendoulis for State House

Top Donors
— VerHeulen Leadership Fund, $8,000
— Health PAC, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, $3,500
— Health Care Association of Michigan, $3,000
— DTE Energy Company PAC, $2,500
— MICPA PAC, $2,500
— Meijer PAC, $2,500

15. Rep. Gary Glenn, Republican from Midland
Total Contributions In 2017: $90,333

Candidate Committee: Gary Glenn for Representative
Connected PAC: Growth Liberty Enterprise Now Network (GLENN)

— David and Patti Kepler, retired, $17,000
— Robert Tondu, retired, $6,000
— IGS Ventures, $2,700
— Comcast Corp. PAC, $2,500
— Lee Mueller, retired $2,500

Tags
Fundraising Press Press Release 2018 Election 2018 News Bill Schuette Brian Calley Arlan Meekhof Pacs Nonprofits Administrative Accounts
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