Mutually assured destruction

Statement of Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network:

There is a new political action committee in Michigan called Coalition for Progress. It’s the biggest PAC we’ve ever had – $5.2 million. Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo and Pat Stryker of Fort Collins, Colorado put in all but $20,000.

Jon Stryker is as progressive as Dick DeVos is conservative. Mr. Stryker appears to be concerned that Mr. DeVos was trying to buy an election. So he has brought our Democracy to a state of mutually assured destruction.

Somehow we seem to have avoided any discussion of whether it is fair that Mr. DeVos has spent more than $25 million of his personal wealth in seeking the office of governor. It’s legal, but is it fair? Is it fair that Mr. Stryker can spend more than the candidates he is targeting in his independent-expenditure ad campaign? There are arguments to be made on both sides of the question, but we should question the implications for our Democracy if campaigns come down to a contest of 'our billionaire heir against your billionaire heir.'

We would be better off if our election campaigns financially belonged to all of us. We have gone too far in letting a few with great wealth decide the course of our elections. The health of our greatest treasure is in peril.

Thanks to Mr. DeVos and Mr. Stryker for bringing us to this teachable moment.

Press Release 2006 News