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Presidential Ad Battle Poised To Hit Michigan Next Week

The presidential race’s TV advertising battle could begin unfolding on Michigan TV screens as early as next week. According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings, a Super Political Action Committee (Super PAC) that’s been backing Republican candidate Jeb Bush already has at least $741,585 in ad time reserved with Michigan broadcast stations running up to the March 8 primary.

The ads were originally scheduled to begin on Feb. 15, which is Monday. However, multiple stations have filed revisions, showing that the ads airing with them have been pushed backed to Feb. 17, which is Wednesday.

The $4-Million Push To Influence Michigan Energy Law

The push to influence Michigan’s energy overhaul likely soared beyond $4 million in 2015. The total includes an estimated $2.5 million in broadcast TV advertising by a single group, $823,444 in lobbying expenses and $667,245 in donations to campaigns tied to state officeholders.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state lawmakers set out in 2015 to redesign state laws that regulate energy standards and competition among energy companies. While no proposals made it through the Legislature last year, the effort to influence the ultimate outcome was unrelenting. Read our full report by following the top link below.

Political Action Committees Raised More Than $22 Million During 2015

Political action committees (PACs) that seek to influence lawmakers and sway Michigan voters raised more than $22.6 million in 2015 with $20.1 million of that total by the 150 most active committees.

All of that fundraising came during an off-year. And while 2014 saw a gubernatorial race and State Senate races that won’t be on the ballot this year, 2015 PAC fundraising wasn’t far off the pace of 2013. In 2013, the top 150 PACs raised $22.2 million. So despite the fact that the upcoming election will focus mostly on the battle for the State House, the drop-off in 2015 was only about $2.1 million — or about 9 percent.

Ballot Proposal Update: Ann Arbor Man Has Given $250K To Campaign To Legalize Marijuana

An Ann Arbor resident has single-handedly provided $250,000 to a ballot campaign that aims to legalize marijuana in Michigan, according to new campaign finance reports.

That Ann Arbor resident is Kevin McCaffery, 54, who’s listed as the president of RKB Enterprises Inc. In the last fundraising period, which covered Oct. 21 until Dec. 31, McCaffery gave $200,000 to the MI Legalize campaign, which would legalize all forms of marijuana for adults 21 and older. McCaffery previously gave another $50,000 to the effort. For more on MI Legalize's latest campaign finance report and those of other ballot committees, follow the link below.

Campaign Legal Center: Senate Super PAC Bill Goes 'Well Beyond' Citizens United

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C, submitted an analysis this week of the Michigan Senate bill that would broaden the potential connection between candidates and Super PACs that receive take unlimited contributions.

While the bill, Senate Bill 638, has been touted as a way to simply put the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in Michigan law, The Campaign Legal Center says it goes well beyond that, “allowing candidates to coordinate nearly every aspect of their supporters’ ‘independent’ expenditures.” Read the full analysis below.

Term-Limited Schuette, Calley Were Top Fundraisers Among Candidates In Last Months Of 2015

Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley — two term-limited Republicans — raised more money in their candidate committees than other candidates for state office in the last months of 2015.

Schuette reported raising $230,623 in the most recent reporting period while Calley reported raising $228,500. Those were the largest numbers posted for the period by any candidate committee, according to Secretary of State data.

Race For Control Of State House Sees $920,000 In Max Contributions

Boosted by 18 donors who combined to give $720,000, Michigan House Republicans brought in more campaign cash than the three other caucuses in 2015, according to year-end reports due to the state on Monday.

The House Republican Campaign Committee raised $1.79 million in 2015. Of that total, $720,000 — or 40 percent — came from 18 donors who each gave the maximum yearly amount possible, $40,000. The House Democratic Fund had five maximum donors who gave a combined $200,000.

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2016