LANSING – The campaign of Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor has raised $1,464,000 so far this year, setting a new record for a Michigan Supreme Court candidate’s campaign committee. Taylor had raised $1,419,000 as of August 7th, according to his pre-convention campaign finance report. He raised an additional $45,000 in late contributions between August 8th and August 15th.
Taylor owned the previous Michigan Supreme Court fundraising record of $1,340,000, set in the campaign of 2000. Taylor’s 2008 total is the seventh time a Michigan Supreme Court candidate has raised over $1 million, and the first time it has been accomplished prior to a party nominating convention. Taylor’s campaign had raised only $350,000 as of the 2000 pre-convention report.
Political action committees, candidate committees and party committees contributed $413,954, or 29 percent of Taylor’s total. 134 individuals making the maximum individual contribution of $3,400 accounted for $455,600, or 32 percent of the campaign’s total. Eighty-eight percent of the funds came from Michigan, while contributors in Virginia, New York, Illinois and Florida gave nearly $105,000, seven percent of the total.
Taylor's campaign had $1,105,000 in cash on hand, as of August 7th.
“This is a powerful display of support for Chief Justice Taylor,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, “but it comes with a cost. When the Michigan Supreme Court selects a case involving a justice’s campaign contributors, and that is a common occurrence, it creates an appearance that undermines our collective faith in the impartiality of the Court. We’d be much better off with publicly funded Supreme Court campaigns.”
Candidates who aspire to the Democratic nomination to challenge Taylor in November must file their pre-convention campaign finance report by August 26th.