By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
A handful of Michigan donors to presidential Super PACs gave nearly as much money in January as hundreds of Michigan donors who gave directly to the presidential candidates.
According to campaign finance reports released over the weekend, donors who listed Michigan addresses gave about $638,500 to the candidate committees of eight presidential candidates, including Republican Jeb Bush, who has now suspended his campaign.
But January saw almost equal financial support from Michigan donors who gave large contributions to Super PACs that are supporting the candidates. MCFN tracked $620,500 in contributions from five Michigan-based donors to the Super PACs.
The largest came from Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. According to the reports, he gave a $250,000 contribution in January to Right to Rise, a pro-Bush Super PAC, and a $250,000 contribution that same month to Conservative Solutions, a Super PAC that supports U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
On top of those two donations, Quicken Loans Chairman Daniel Gilbert gave $100,000 in January to New Day for America, a Super PAC that supports Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich.
Super PACs that support candidates can accept unlimited contributions while they’re barred from coordinating directly with the campaigns of the candidates. Meanwhile, the candidates’ committees face federal contribution limits.
As for those candidate committees, Democrat Hillary Clinton raised the most in Michigan in January. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data, she raised $242,434. She’s also raised the most in the state throughout the campaign at $1.174 million, according to the FEC’s tracking.
She surpassed Bush as the top Michigan fundraiser in January. Bush raised only $19,333 from Michigan donors last month, putting him at $998,093 in total.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) raised the second most for a candidate committee from Michigan in January at $159,117. Third was U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who raised $70,438. Fourth was Republican Dr. Ben Carson, who raised $69,445. Then came Rubio, who raised $63,521.
Kasich raised $9,495 in Michigan in January. And GOP businessman Donald Trump reported raising $4,517 from Michigan donors last month.
Total Michigan financial support to candidates generally reflects only contributions from donors who have given at least $200 to a candidate. Those donors whose contributions total less than $200 for a candidate don’t have to be itemized in the campaign’s disclosure reports.
For the entire race, the FEC says presidential candidate committees have raised $494 million across the country.