Michigan Campaign Finance Network

Dark Money and Justice

Michigan has a record of dark money spending in elections for offices related to the administration of justice like no other state in the union. A new report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network shows the record, and examples of the dark money electioneering communications that are undermining public trust and confidence in the impartial administration of justice.

Debate - Money in Politics: How much should be disclosed?

Is unreported, unregulated spending in political campaigns dark money? A celebration of the First Amendment? MCFN executive director Rich Robinson and former Federal Election Commission commissioner Bradley Smith debate the question at 6 p.m., June 25th at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. The event will be web-cast live at www.mackinac.org.

Record fundraising by top PACs in 2014

Michigan's top 150 state PACs raised a record $68 million in the 2014 election cycle. Recently filed PAC reports also disclosed for the first time - 100 days after Election Day - more than $3 million in independent expenditures that were made to influence the November 2014 election. That is disgraceful.

State lobbyists' spending topped $37M in 2014

Michigan lobbyists spent more than $37 million in 2014 but reporting thresholds conceal who is benefitting from much of their largesse. Citizens should have a right to know how lobbyists are spending money to influence public officials.

Constitutional executives' campaigns: $72.3M

Michigan's campaigns for governor, attorney general and secretary of state cost $72.3 million. The candidates' committees accounted for just 35% of that spending in the gubernatorial campaign, and most of the ads you saw for governor and attorney general were not reported to the State of Michigan. Look at the sad facts that make Michigan the Dark Money Capital of American Politics.

Michigan legislator campaigns: $44.3M

Michigan's 2014 campaigns for state legislators cost $44.3 million. Yet in a third of those campaigns one major-party candidate didn't even bother to raise money. Take a look at the patchy competition and see whether it makes you think G-E-R-R-Y-M-A-N-D-E-R.

Michigan Supreme Court campaign: $10.4M

For the third consecutive election cycle Michigan had the most expensive, least transparent judicial election campaign in America. We are an outlier when it comes to judicial selection, and that's not a compliment. Michigan is the Dark Money Capital of Judicial Elections.

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2014