LANSING - Michigan ballot committees smashed all previous records for fundraising and spending in 2012. In aggregate, the 2012 ballot committees raised $154.3 million. All six proposals lost at the polls on November 6th.
The spending in three of the ballot contests - Proposal 2, 3 and 6 - broke t...
posted on 12/14/2012
By Rich Robinson
This commentary first appeared in edited form in the Detroit Free Press under the title, "Who paid for those Michigan Supreme Court ads?"
Michigan earned national election notoriety in 2012. Our Supreme Court campaign appears to have been the most expensive, least accountable ...
posted on 11/09/2012
LANSING - Spending by outside groups is already nearly twice what the candidate committees have raised in Michigan's most hotly contested congressional race. Through the pre-general campaign finance reports, incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Benishek had total receipts of $1,889,740 and Democratic chall...
posted on 10/31/2012
LANSING - Fundraising by Michigan House candidates is running well ahead of the pace of the last two election cycles. Through pre-general reports, the general election candidates have raised $13.04 million. The comparable figures for 2010 and 2008 were $9.45 million and $11.7 million, respectively.
posted on 10/31/2012
LANSING - Michigan's Supreme Court election campaign appears to be headed for the notorious distinction of being the nation's most expensive and least transparent judicial election campaign in 2012.
The candidates' pre-general election campaign finance reports filed Friday show that the major-par...
posted on 10/29/2012
amended 4:00p, 10/29/2012
LANSING - Active ballot committees raised $141.4 million in Michigan this election cycle, as of Friday, October 26th. Three of the six proposals voters will decide on November 6th have already smashed the state's previous record for a ballot contest, the 2004 campaign t...
posted on 10/28/2012
revised, 5:30p, 10/26/2012
LANSING - Michigan's top 150 state political action committees have raised $34.7 million through the October campaign finance reports. That total is the lowest recorded since the 2004 election cycle for the state's top 150 PACs.
Rankings were compiled by the nonparti...
posted on 10/26/2012
LANSING - Michigan's general election candidates for the United States House of Representatives have raised $26.1 million in campaign cash through September 30th, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Michigan's most heavily contested U.S. House race is the 1st District...
posted on 10/16/2012
LANSING -Proponents and opponents of the proposed constitutional amendments that will be on Michigan's November ballot have spent approximately $30 million for television advertisements since August, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
Sales totals ...
posted on 10/11/2012
LANSING - The Michigan Supreme Court campaign moves into its final four weeks with candidates who are well financed and political parties that are fully engaged.
The six major-party nominees have collectively raised $2.26 million, so far.
Incumbent Justice Brian Zahra, a Republican nominee wh...
posted on 10/09/2012
LANSING -- Television advertising records show one-sided advertising in Michigan's U.S. Senate race and the contest for the state's presidential electoral votes. However, data suggest a highly competitive campaign in Michigan's First Congressional District.
In the presidential rac...
posted on 10/08/2012
amended 5:30p.m., 9/13/2012
LANSING - Lansing lobbyists have reported spending $20.7 million through the first seven months of 2012, according to reports filed with the Michigan Department of State and compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. That figure is up by 4.5 percent compared to...
posted on 09/13/2012
LANSING -- The presidential television ad war in Michigan continues to unfold unlike anywhere else in America. Through Labor Day, a group of superPACs and nonprofit "social welfare" corporations opposing President Barack Obama and supporting Republican nominee Mitt Romney has spent $10.9 million. Ne...
posted on 09/06/2012
updated 8/31/2012, 8:00 a.m.
LANSING - Incumbent Michigan Supreme Court Justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra have significant campaign finance advantages over other candidates for this year's election, according to pre-convention reports filed with the Michigan Bureau of Elections.
posted on 08/30/2012
LANSING - The nonstop barrage of television advertisements Michigan viewers have seen attacking the policies and administration of President Barack Obama are part of a campaign targeting nine states considered to be potential battlegrounds for the November presidential election: Colorado, Florida, I...
posted on 08/02/2012
LANSING - Michigan candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have raised more than $40 million so far this election cycle according to data compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The reports are complete th...
posted on 07/30/2012
LANSING - Candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives raised $9,657,667 by July 22nd when they closed books on their pre-primary election reports.
That total is up by 17.4 percent compared to the comparable point in the 2010 election cycle, and it is up by 14.6 percent compared to 2008. ...
posted on 07/30/2012
LANSING--Michigan's top 150 state political action committees have raised $27.3 million so far this election cycle according to reports filed this week with the Michigan Department of State. That total lags behind the corresponding total from 2010, when the Republican Governors Association had place...
posted on 07/26/2012
LANSING -- Just twelve committees have raised $29.3 million - and already spent $20 million - in initial financial activity surrounding seven ballot questions that may be decided by the Michigan electorate in November.
Records were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports fi...
posted on 07/25/2012
LANSING -Second quarter campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission by Michigan's 2012 congressional candidates show incumbents dominating fundraising with little financial competitiveness apparent for the August 7th primary election or the November general election.
posted on 07/16/2012
LANSING - The presidential air war is playing out in Michigan without participation of the candidates' campaign committees. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has paid for television advertising in Michigan since the presidential primary on February 28th.
The television ad war has been a one-si...
posted on 07/06/2012
LANSING - A television advertising blitz by the Detroit International Bridge Company that ran from Memorial Day to the end of June has increased DIBC's ad spending in opposition to a new public/private bridge between Detroit and Windsor to $3.36 million so far in 2012. That figure is gross sales thr...
posted on 07/05/2012
LANSING – A five-party, multi-million-dollar Michigan television ad campaign orchestrated by Mentzer Media Services illustrates the major role of nonprofit advocacy corporations in contemporary presidential politics.
Four nonprofits organized as 501(c)(4) corporations – Americans for Prosperi...
posted on 05/14/2012
Coming on the heels of a record year of lobbyists' spending, there are more signs of recovery in the money-in-politics sector of Michigan's economy. Michigan’s top 150 political action committees have raised $22.2 million so far this election cycle. That figure is up by 12.2 percent compared to th...
posted on 04/30/2012
After a year-long study, the Michigan Judicial Selection Task Force yesterday released its report and recommendations for improving the state's process for selecting Supreme Court justices.
Led by two veteran Michigan jurists, Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly and Senior Judge James L. Ryan of ...
posted on 04/27/2012
Michigan candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives have filed their campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2012. Those reports suggest a limited number of competitive primaries and even fewer competitive races in the November general election. A synopsis of races that are likely to...
posted on 04/16/2012
LANSING – First quarter television advertising in Michigan related to the 2012 presidential election stands at $7.6 million. SuperPACs and nonprofit “issue” advertisers have outspent the candidates’ campaign committees by 50 percent.
Spending data were compiled by the nonprofit Michigan ...
posted on 03/01/2012
LANSING – Reported Lansing lobbying expenditures totaled $35,348,800 in 2011, according to figures compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Michigan Department of State. That amount is up by 11 percent compared to 2010 and it is a new state record for annual lo...
posted on 02/22/2012
LANSING – SuperPACs associated with individual presidential candidates raised $47 million in 2011 but Michigan donors were slow to join the fray. Only Restore Our Future, which Mitt Romney has referred to as, “my SuperPAC,” raised more than $1,000 from Michigan contributors.
posted on 02/09/2012
LANSING – Fund-raising for Michigan’s Republican senatorial primary campaign is competitive, as of year-end reports that cover the period through December 31, 2011. Pete Hoekstra had raised $2,001,832 and had $1,524,458 in cash on hand, while Clark Durant had raised $1,376,744 and had $1,183,885...
posted on 02/09/2012
LANSING -- Fund-raising figures reported by Michigan’s active congressional candidates carry a strong suggestion of the effect of the 2011 redistricting process. There will be competitive Democratic primaries this year, as there were after the 2001 redistricting process, and less competition in No...
posted on 02/03/2012
This commentary first appeared in Dome Magazine
By Rich Robinson
This is campaign finance orthodoxy in early 2012: Corporations are people, money is speech and democracy is when my billionaire whups your billionaire.
Comedians have lampooned the silliness of the first strained equivalence. ...
posted on 02/03/2012
LANSING – Michigan’s legislators and elected constitutional executives filed their first campaign finance reports in more than a year on Tuesday, January 31st. In aggregate, they reported raising $5.9 million: $3.5 million by representatives, $1.6 million by senators and $832,000 by the Governor...
posted on 02/01/2012
It was welcome news when Governor Snyder announced during his 2012 State of the State address that he believes Michigan needs campaign finance, lobbying and ethics reforms. It has been a long time since a Michigan governor has expressed serious interest in this important area of government accountab...
posted on 01/20/2012