Michigan Campaign Finance Network

Proxies dominate campaigns in Q1 2014

Independent committees and organizations have dominated Michigan's statewide political campaigns through the first quarter of 2014. In the most visible aspect of the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial campaigns - television advertising - independent groups outspent candidates by a wide margin. Disclosure of the independent groups' finances ranges from inconvenient to nonexistent.

McCutcheon JFC: New weapon of political warfare

What is the practical significance of the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission? A whole new class of weapon, the McCutcheon joint fundraising committee (JFC), has been created for the American political war of mutually assured destruction. And it puts every federal officeholder in a position to raise millions from a single donor.

Top state PACs have raised $22M this cycle

Michigan's top 150 state political action committees have raised $22.2 million this election cycle, through February 10th. That is more than the top 150 PACs had raised through April 20th last cycle. Of the top 150 PACs, 27 are officeholders' leadership PACs.

Lansing lobbyists spent $35.4M in 2013

Lansing lobbyists spent $35.4 million in 2013 to move their public policy agendas. That total is down by 4.6% from 2012. Much of the detail of who benefits from lobbyists' spending is concealed by reporting thresholds that keep citizens in the dark about who is spending what to influence officeholders and administration officials.

Constitutional execs raised $7M in 2013

Michigan's three constitutional executive officeholders raised $7 million in 2013, and they have raised $8.7 million so far this election cycle. See where they're getting it, and what the competition looks like.

Legislators raised $6.8M in 2013

Michigan's incumbent state legislators raised $6.8 million for their state campaign committees in 2013. That total is 52 percent higher than comparable figures from four years ago. See who is leading the fundraising parade.

Descending into Dark Money

Record spending and a continuing trend of diminishing accountability for that spending were the major features of Michigan's 2012 state election campaigns. Details are contained in the 2012 Citizen's Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance, released by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN).

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2014