State PAC fundraising continues to lag

First report from interest groups in six months

LANSING – Fundraising by Michigan’s top state political action committees (PACs) continues to lag behind the pace of recent election cycles, according to reports filed with the Michigan Bureau of Elections. The top 150 state PACs raised $19.8 million from January 2009 through April 20, 2010. That compares to $21.8 million raised by the top 150 PACs at this point in the 2008 cycle, and $23.2 million in the 2006 cycle.

Data were compiled by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN).

Contributions were down for eight of the top ten PACs, including all four of the legislative caucuses’ PACs. Among the top ten, only Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Michigan Association for Justice showed gains.

Speaker Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop continue to have the top leadership PACs, overshadowing fundraising by those who aspire to succeed them as leaders in the Legislature. Wayne County executive Robert Ficano has had the next greatest fundraising success among officeholders.

The political action committees last reported their activity six months ago, in October. Federal political action committees report monthly.

“The reporting schedule for political committees in Michigan is pathetically inadequate,” said Rich Robinson of MCFN. “The PACs have raised and distributed millions of dollars since their last reports. Officeholders hadn’t reported in more than a year until their year-end reports last January, and we won’t see anything from the current candidates until late July. This schedule should be an embarrassment to the Legislature and the governor, but there is no shame in Lansing. It’s hardly a wonder so many citizens feel aggrieved by their government.”

Press Release 2010 News