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National Group Files Complaint Against Dark Money Michigan Nonprofit

In a new complaint, a national ethics group says a shadowy Michigan nonprofit appears to have made false statements to the Internal Revenue Service about its political spending. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint today with the IRS that says the nonprofit Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility made contributions to political action committees in 2014 but told the IRS the group hadn’t engaged in any “direct or indirect political campaign activities on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office.”

With Questionable Results, Ballot Campaigns Have Spent $3.5 Million

While it appears increasingly unlikely that any group will be able to gather enough petition signatures to put a proposal before Michigan voters in November, those who tried raised some $6.4 million and spent more than $3.5 million. The spending has been a boon for election attorneys, campaign consultants, polling companies and, most emphatically, petition circulators. Read our full piece by following the link below.

Former Lawmaker Files Complaint On State Of The City That Doubled As A Fundraiser

A former state lawmaker has formally requested that the Attorney General’s Office and Secretary of State’s Office investigate a State of the City luncheon that entangled public resources while doubling as a fundraiser for a PAC. In a letter to Attorney General Bill Schuette, former Rep. Leon Drolet alleges that Warren Mayor James Fouts’ 2016 State of the City address was “a blatant, open and obvious use of taxpayer resources” that helped a PAC raise money. Read more by following the links below.

Let The Spending Begin: One U.S. House Candidate Ran About $94k In TV Ads In May

With two months before Michigan's August primary, Paul Mitchell, the Republican who’s investing heavily in his own U.S. House campaign, ran an estimated $94,332 in broadcast TV ads in the last two weeks of May.

The ads mark the first of Michigan’s 2016 congressional races, according to tracking data from Kantar Media, which monitors ads. Mitchell’s campaign ran about 50 broadcast ads in the Detroit TV market last month, according to Kantar’s numbers. And according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign has already ordered more ad time for June. Read more by following the link below.

Michigan's Most Active PACs Set Record Pace For Presidential Election Year

The interest groups and caucus committees that will help finance the fight for control of the Michigan House in 2016 are on a record fundraising pace for a presidential election year.

It’s an indication that the 2016 State House campaigns could rank among the most expensive in Michigan’s history. At the end of the last reporting period, which closed on April 20, the top 150 Michigan political action committees (PACs) had raised $26.0 million. The number is a 17 percent increase over the same point in the 2012 cycle.

Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Proposes Limiting PAC Giving To Candidates

As political action committees (PACs) continue to break fundraising records in Michigan, a bipartisan group of House members is hoping to decrease their influence.

A bill, introduced earlier this month, would cut in half the maximum amount PACs can give state candidates. Currently, Michigan law allows PACs to give 10 times the maximum amount individuals can give. House Bill 5632, sponsored by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), would reduce that multiplier to five. Read the full story by following the link below.

A State Of The City Address That Entangles Public Resources And Fundraising

One mayor's 2016 State of the City address is still drawing attention a month later, and it's not because of the policies he rolled out during the speech. The event raised thousands of dollars for a political action committee (PAC) while seeming to entangle public resources in the process.

And although the event raised money for a PAC, city workers helped put together a video presentation that went with the speech, and, according to emails, the mayor's office directed one individual on how to get tickets.

MCFN coverage of Campaign 2016