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Paper Or Plastic? In The Debate Over Local Plastic Bag Laws, One Side Has Been A Far Bigger Campaign Donor

A bill that would limit local governments' ability to regulate plastic bags has set off a debate between business groups that have made some big campaign contributions over the years, including a few donations reported received on the date of a key committee hearing, and environmental groups that have made their own contributions, on a much smaller scale. Read our full story at the link below.

Touting A 'Looming Energy Shortfall,' Utility-Connected Nonprofit Spent $7.4 Million Last Year

Without having to disclose its donors, a nonprofit organization that’s tried to influence state lawmakers’ debate over energy policy spent $7.4 million in 2015, according to its newest tax filing. The money paid for phone calls, mail campaigns and hundreds of television ads. The group is called Citizens for Michigan's Energy Future, which has connections to the state's largest electric utilities and has promoted bills that the utilities support. Read more by following the link below.

PAC $ Rankings: Michigan's Largest Interest Groups Raising More Cash Than They Did In Past Prez Election Years

Michigan’s most active political action committees (PACs) continue to set a record fundraising pace for a presidential election cycle. The bump in fundraising is being driven by major interest groups, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, increasing their activity and by the two House caucuses raising more than in past years. Read more by following the links below.

The Top Fundraiser Won 70 Percent Of Contested Michigan House Primary Races, According To Early Numbers

The candidate who had access to the most money won about 70 percent of the contested State House primary races last week according to campaign finance reports available as of Election Day, Aug. 2. But when primary races in which the winning nominee has little or no chance in the general election are dropped from consideration, the impact of fundraising becomes even more profound. Read our full story on candidate fundraising and election outcomes by following the link below.

How Secret Donors Tried To Shape The Next House Republican Caucus Just Before The Primary

In the days before Tuesday's election, two groups attacked at least seven Republican candidates across five different House districts, potentially impacting one-fifth of the races for open seats currently held by the House GOP. The late attacks tended to focus on candidates who were the more conservative options in competitive races and who were already at a fundraising disadvantage. Read our story and see the attacks by following the links below.

The Dark Money Flows In Days Before Primary Election

Alleging that one candidate thinks gun violence is a game and that another's ideas would "handcuff" police officers, dark money-funded mailers have been trying to sway Michigan voters in the days leading up to Tuesday's primary election. The attacks have come from nonprofit organizations, and some have falsely stated they were sent by previously dissolved PACs. And Michigan law allows the donors behind the mailers to remain secret. Read more by following the link below.

56 State House Candidates Say The Role Of Money In Michigan Politics Deserves The Legislature's Attention

There will be State House candidates on many ballots across Michigan Tuesday who want to strengthen transparency laws and who believe the Legislature should do something about the role of money in politics. That’s according to the responses to questionnaires the Michigan Campaign Finance Network sent out in May to 225 State House candidates. To read more about their responses, follow the links below.

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2016