Posts tagged Press

MCFN Seeks New Executive Director

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a nonprofit organization that has worked to follow the money in state politics for two decades, is launching a search for a new executive director. read more

posted on 10/08/2019

Fundraisers Ask For ‘Corporate Contributions Only’

Some Michigan lawmakers have been headlining fundraisers where donors are specifically asked to make “corporate contributions only," according to invitations obtained by MCFN. It's a request that could help ensure the sources of money and the groups collecting it remain secret. read more

posted on 09/24/2019

Record Amounts Of Free Food For Some Lawmakers

So far in 2019, a small group of influential state lawmakers has been consuming larger than normal amounts of free food and drink purchased by lobbyists. Those lobbyists spent more than $4,000 on meals and beverages for three individual lawmakers over the first seven months of 2019, according to new disclosures. read more

posted on 09/11/2019

How A County-By-County Push Is Boosting Line 5

A company that owns a controversial oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac was one of the sponsors of a recent gathering of county officeholders from across Michigan. At the event, the officeholders voted to take a policy position in favor of the pipeline, a pipeline Michigan's attorney general is trying to shut down. read more

posted on 09/06/2019

Lobbyist Spending Soars In Michigan In 2019

Lobbyist spending in Michigan is on a record pace in 2019. Lobbyists reported spending $23.2 million over the first seven months of 2019, a 6-percent increase over the previous high for the same period in past years, according to disclosures. The spending came as a new class of lawmakers took office and the Legislature overhauled the state's auto insurance system. read more

posted on 09/05/2019

A Company, A Bill And The Opioid Crisis

A majority of Michigan's 83 counties have sued drug distributors and manufacturers over their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. However, one of the companies named in the suits registered to lobby in Michigan this year and could soon score a victory in the Legislature. read more

posted on 09/04/2019

PACs Powering Lawmakers’ Fundraising In 2019

About 66 percent of the money that Michigan’s 148 state lawmakers have reported raising for their campaigns so far this year has come from political action committees (PACs), fundraising committees connected to businesses, unions, politicians and other interest groups that aim to influence what happens in Lansing. Only about 28 percent has come directly from individual donors. read more

posted on 08/22/2019

Fundraising Races On After Record Election

Michigan's top 150 political action committees raised more money over the first seven months of 2019 than they did over the same period before the record 2018 election, according to new campaign finance disclosures. Increased fundraising by committees connected to state lawmakers helped spur the high-dollar total. read more

posted on 08/05/2019

Undisclosed, Untold: Most State Lawmakers Have Ties To Accounts That Can Raise Money In Secret

Michigan officeholders’ quiet use of accounts and organizations that can accept unlimited amounts of money from secret donors has become widespread in Lansing. A new report by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network found links between a majority of the 148 lawmakers serving last year and accounts or organizations that could raise money from sources known to the lawmaker but unknown to the public. Where does the money end up? That can be a mystery as well. read more

posted on 07/22/2019

U.S. House Members Post Big Fundraising Numbers

In 2017, the U.S. House member from Michigan who raised the most money from the beginning of April through the end of June collected $360,342. Over the same period in 2019, three of Michigan's U.S. House members raised more than that. Two doubled the total, raising more than $730,000 each. read more

posted on 07/16/2019

State Lawmakers’ Fundraising Accounts Have Paid More Than $100,000 For Missing Disclosure Deadlines

Fundraising committees tied to nearly half of Michigan’s current state officeholders have had to pay financial penalties — called late filing fees — for failing to meet donor disclosure requirements, according to an analysis of campaign finance records. Current state officeholders’ campaigns and political action committees (PACs) have combined to pay penalties of at least $112,695 throughout the officeholders’ political careers. read more

posted on 07/09/2019

While They Make Our Laws, How Much Should We Know About Their Financial Interests?

Michigan is currently one of two states that don't require state officeholders to file any type of personal financial disclosure to reveal potential conflicts of interest. However, the state House is now considering whether to adopt a financial disclosure reporting system. MCFN examined how the proposal compares to what's already been happening in other states. read more

posted on 06/20/2019

Inside One Of The Most Influential Groups In Lansing

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce publicly weighed in on 28 bills or bill packages during the 2018 lame-duck session. The Legislature agreed with the Chamber on 24 of them. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network and Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer partnered to examine the group's influence. read more

posted on 05/30/2019

Michigan's 2018 Election Attracted $324 Million

Michigan’s 2018 election was the most expensive in state history. As voters chose a new governor, picked candidates for every seat in the state Legislature and decided two competitive U.S. House races, money poured in from outside groups, and campaigns raised record amounts. read more

posted on 05/09/2019

It’s Early. But Groups Have Been Busy Raising Money.

Over the first months of 2019, the 150 top political action committees in Michigan reported raising a combined total of $8.1 million, an increase over the same time period before the 2018 election. Michigan’s four caucus committees, which spend money on races for the state Legislature, were the primary forces behind the fundraising jump, disclosures show. read more

posted on 04/30/2019

Who’s Been Funding Lawmakers’ Personal PACs?

Ten state lawmakers raised more than $30,000 through their own political action committees over the first months of 2019, according to new campaign finance disclosures. Individual contributors gave as much as $40,000 to the leadership PACs, a growing form of fundraising in Michigan. read more

posted on 04/30/2019

State Officeholders Had 774 Fundraisers In 2018

Elected state officeholders who served in 2018 disclosed having at least 774 fundraisers during the year, according to an analysis of hundreds of campaign finance disclosures. The most popular places to raise money were all within walking distance of the Capitol, and the wide majority of the most popular days for fundraisers were days the Legislature was also in session. read more

posted on 04/25/2019

Cost Of Michigan House Campaigns Rises … Again

Michigan's 2018 races for the state House attracted about $27.6 million, according to MCFN's analysis. It was a record total that was achieved despite the fact the races shared 2018 ballots with expensive campaigns for the state Senate and governor. The most expensive individual 2018 House race cost about $1.5 million, according to the analysis. read more

posted on 03/28/2019

The Most Expensive Fight For The State Senate

At $34.5 million, Michigan's 2018 races for the state Senate attracted more money than they ever had before. New contribution limits and increased competition helped drive up the price tag. But there was also more than $4 million in spending by groups that didn't disclose their donors but occasionally used images of snakes and swamp monsters to attack candidates. read more

posted on 03/21/2019

Lame Duck Spurred A Surge In Lobbyist Spending

As state lawmakers sent nearly 400 bills to then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk in the closing weeks of the year, lobbyists upped their efforts in Lansing to influence policy decisions, helping to make 2018 a record year for lobbyist spending, according to state disclosures. Overall, lobbyists reported spending $40.3 million in 2018. read more

posted on 02/27/2019

40 Michigan Families, $56 Million In Contributions

Forty Michigan families and individuals spent a combined $56.5 million on political contributions from the start of 2017 through the end of 2018, according to a new analysis of state and national campaign finance disclosures. Fourteen families or individuals from Michigan spent more than $1 million each, the analysis also found. read more

posted on 02/21/2019

Who Benefited From $11 Million In DeVos Spending?

Members of West Michigan's DeVos family combined to make about $11.3 million in political contributions from the start of 2017 to the end of 2018. The family spent more money on politics ahead of the 2018 election than any other Michigan family, according to an analysis of state and national fundraising disclosures by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. read more

posted on 02/21/2019

Who Funded Gov. Whitmer’s Inauguration?

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s transition organization voluntarily released a list of inauguration sponsors. The list included 182 groups or individuals who fell into sponsorship categories ranging from $100,000 to $1,000. Some of the groups on the list previously supported Whitmer’s opponent in the election, and many of them will be working with state government on upcoming policy decisions. read more

posted on 02/11/2019

Michigan’s 2018 Races For The U.S. House Attracted $80 Million, About Double The 2016 Total

Thanks in part to two extremely expensive races, the primary and general election contests for Michigan’s 14 seats in the U.S. House attracted about $80 million, according to candidate fundraising disclosures, independent-spending reports by groups and an analysis of TV advertising data from Kantar Media/CMAG. The 2018 total is double what the same races attracted in 2016: $40 million. read more

posted on 01/22/2019

Who Funded Schuette And Whitmer’s Campaigns?

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette raised more than $23 million for their campaigns for governor. And disclosures show that employees of Michigan’s largest companies and some of the state’s largest interest groups helped foot the bill. read more

posted on 12/12/2018

Analysis: How A New Proposal On Nonprofit Groups Impacts Dark Money In Michigan Politics

Introduced two days after the election in the lame duck session, Senate Bill 1176 would create a new law called the “Personal Privacy Protection Act.” The act would ban any government agency, state or local, from requiring nonprofit organizations to disclose information about their financial supporters. That includes nonprofit organizations involved in campaigns. read more

posted on 11/28/2018

In The 2018 Fight For Control Of Lansing, These Races Have Been Attracting The Most Campaign Cash

This year’s campaign for control of the Michigan Senate is shaping up to be an expensive one. While the numbers aren’t final and will only go up, already 10 of the 38 Senate races have crossed the $1-million mark, according to a new analysis of campaign finance disclosures, including late contributions reported over the weekend. That's a Michigan record for the number of $1-million Senate races in an election. read more

posted on 11/05/2018

Michigan’s PACs Raise A Record Amount Of Money

PACs, which are usually connected to interest groups, political causes or public officeholders, raise money to support candidates or to directly influence voters through advertisements or other campaign efforts. The fact that they’ve raised a record amount of money since the start of 2017 is another sign that Michigan’s 2018 election will be one of the most expensive in state history. read more

posted on 10/31/2018

Redistricting Ballot Proposal Draws The Most Money

Voters Not Politicians, the ballot committee hoping to change how Michigan draws its legislative district lines, took in nearly $14 million over the past three months, swamping the group that is opposed to the ballot measure. Ballot proposal campaigns filed new reports on their fundraising ahead of Election Day. read more

posted on 10/26/2018

Records Fall As Money Pours Into U.S. House Races

New fundraising disclosures show that Michigan's 2018 U.S. House races are attracting more money than they did before past elections. Among the 2018 races is a contest in the 8th Congressional District, which has already drawn about $16.5 million, a record amount for a U.S. House race in Michigan. read more

posted on 10/16/2018

Lobbyist Spending On Near-Record Pace In Michigan

According to new data submitted to the Secretary of State, lobbyists reported spending $21.6 million to influence state government over the first seven months of 2018. It’s a total that falls just shy of the record pace for lobbyist spending set last year when lobbyists disclosed spending $21.8 million over the first seven months. read more

posted on 09/21/2018

Money In The Race For Governor So Far: $50 Million

Michigan's 2018 race for governor will likely be one of the most expensive in state history. As of this week, the race has attracted about $50 million, according to a new analysis from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The candidates' campaigns have raised most of the money, but outside groups are starting to play a larger role. read more

posted on 09/07/2018

National Groups Airing Ads In Race For Governor

The general election race for Michigan governor is just getting started. But already, an estimated $1.6 million in broadcast TV ads have aired since the primary. National groups are driving the ad spending. In this story, MCFN examines who's behind the ads. read more

posted on 09/04/2018

15 Michigan Families, $35 Million In Contributions

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network examined state fundraising disclosures, federal fundraising disclosures and reports that some groups file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine which Michigan-connected political donors have been giving the most since the start of 2017. read more

posted on 08/22/2018

Big Money Flowing To Officeholders’ Leadership PACs: Here’s Who’s Giving And Raising The Most

While there are limits on what donors can give directly to state officeholders' campaigns, those same officeholders can accept unlimited amounts of money through leadership PACs. Some of the state's highest ranking officials are receiving big contributions through their PACs and using the money to fund like-minded candidates. We track which donors have been contributing the most to lawmakers' PACs. read more

posted on 08/14/2018

Broadcast TV Ads Before The Primary: $23 Million

About $23.6 million in political advertisements aired on broadcast TV in Michigan before today’s primary election, according to an analysis of ad-tracking data from Kantar Media/CMAG and filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The wide majority of the ads focused on the race to become Michigan's next governor. read more

posted on 08/07/2018

Michigan PACs Are On A Record Fundraising Pace

With an election that could reshape state government on the horizon, interest groups and officeholders are raising large amounts of money for political action committees, also known as PACs. According to MCFN's analysis, Michigan PACs are on a record fundraising pace with three months remaining before the general election. read more

posted on 08/06/2018

Nonprofit Organization Becoming A ‘Dominant Player’ In Some Michigan Primary Campaigns

While broadcast TV ads are usually rare in primary elections for the Michigan House and Senate, a nonprofit organization linked to a major Michigan utility has been airing TV ads promoting five candidates for the state Legislature. The ads are drawing criticism from opponents who are concerned about the groups behind the nonprofit and the general nature of the advertisements. read more

posted on 08/01/2018

Emails Cast Doubt About The State Of Michigan’s Ties To Enbridge In Line 5 Debate

As a deadline looms for Gov. Snyder to decide the future of a pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, he has touted efforts to weigh the issue independently. But his administration has given Enbridge avenues to influence the debate. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network and Bridge Magazine have examined thousands of internal documents, investigating potential conflicts of interest in the state's handling of Line 5. read more

posted on 07/11/2018

Where Is The Money Coming From In Michigan's 2018 Race For The U.S. Senate?

The three major-party candidates in Michigan's 2018 U.S. Senate race combined to raise $20.5 million by the end of March, according to campaign finance disclosures. One of the candidates is an incumbent with a large fundraising lead. One is self-financing his campaign. And the third is receiving heavy support from some of Michigan's top donors. read more

posted on 07/09/2018

Donors Betting Big On GOP Leadership Candidates

With all 148 seats in the state Legislature on the ballot in 2018, donors are investing heavily in the Republicans who could lead the House and Senate next year if the GOP maintains control. Meanwhile, Democratic candidates for leadership jobs have fallen well behind their GOP counterparts in PAC fundraising. read more

posted on 05/22/2018

Michigan’s Largest PACs Are Awash In Cash

As of April 20 — 200 days before the general election — the top 150 political action committees in Michigan had collected $34.5 million, according to an analysis of new campaign finance disclosures. That total is a record for this point before a statewide election. read more

posted on 05/04/2018

U.S. House Hopefuls Have Raised $22 Million

The men and women who want to represent Michigan in the U.S. House have already raised about $22 million for their 2018 campaigns, according to new campaign finance disclosures. In most of the state's battleground districts, the candidates’ total fundraising hauls are higher so far in 2018 than they were at the same point in 2016. read more

posted on 04/17/2018

Special Project: A Precinct-By-Precinct Fight For The Soul Of The Michigan Republican Party

Precinct delegates help set the Michigan Republican Party's future, and the quiet fight to decide who gets to be one of them in 2018 is playing out in small meetings in counties across the state. GOP candidates for secretary of state and attorney general are already out working for support among delegates. Tea party groups want to increase their own numbers. And if the past is any indication, others will try to sway the process as well. read more

posted on 04/12/2018

Report: Special Interests Gave More Than Half The Funds Raised By Michigan Lawmakers

Contributions from political action committees – also known as PACs – accounted for 54 percent of the total amount of money accepted by state lawmakers’ campaigns in 2017, according to a Spartan Newsroom analysis of Michigan campaign finance records. Even though 2017 was a non-election year, Michigan lawmakers raised nearly $8 million from all sources – individuals, parties, political action committees – to help them eventually run for re-election. read more

posted on 04/02/2018

Michigan Lobbyists Spent $39.4 Million Last Year

Lobbyists disclosed spending $39.4 million trying to influence state government in 2017. It’s the second highest total Michigan lobbyists have reported spending in a single year, according to state filings. The record spending total came one year ago in 2016 when lobbyists reported spending $39.9 million. read more

posted on 03/02/2018

On University Boards, Campaign Donors Abound

Many of the men and women who sit on the boards that oversee Michigan’s public universities have made names for themselves in business or politics. Many also happen to be generous campaign donors. read more

posted on 02/27/2018

Some Michigan State Senate Races Have Already Attracted More Than $300,000

If the early numbers are any indication, you can expect some expensive races for the Michigan Senate in 2018 with many involving current members of the Michigan House. Two primary races between well-funded Republican candidates have already attracted more than $400,000 in campaign cash, according to campaign finance disclosures. read more

posted on 02/07/2018

Groups That Will Fight For Control Of The Legislature Have A Record Amount Of Money Stockpiled

The four main groups that raise money to elect Michigan lawmakers have more cash available at the start of 2018 than they’ve ever had at the start of an election year. And it’s not even close. The House Democratic Fund, the House Republican Campaign Committee, the Senate Democratic Fund and the Senate Republican Campaign Committee raise money on behalf of the four legislative caucuses. read more

posted on 01/31/2018

3 Mayoral Races, 3 Stories Of Outside Money

This fall, mayoral elections in three of Michigan’s largest cities saw at least some involvement from outside groups. In two of the cities, the groups apparently avoided disclosing their donors and showed up in the final weeks before the election, providing little time for their targets to respond. read more

posted on 01/02/2018

The State's Major Election Spenders Are Collecting More Money Than They Did In Past Cycles

Four groups that are consistently among the top campaign spenders in Michigan are sitting on a strikingly massive amount of money for this early in an election cycle. As of Oct. 20, 2017 — just over a year before the 2018 election — those four committees reported having a combined $6.48 million available in their accounts. That total is up millions of dollars compared to where they were at this point in past gubernatorial election cycles. read more

posted on 10/31/2017

Big Campaign Donors Are Entrenched In The Fight Over Michigan's Auto Insurance Rates

Political action committees and executives tied to groups or businesses that have previously taken a stance on plans to change Michigan's auto insurance system have given at least $704,795 to fundraising accounts tied members of the House and Senate insurance committees over the last five years. About 63 percent of the money, $448,530, came from those traditionally siding with proposals backed by the auto insurance industry. read more

posted on 10/02/2017

Updated: Gov. Snyder Signs Super PAC Bill

A bill that could weaken Michigan’s long-standing campaign contributions limits has received the approval of Gov. Rick Snyder. The Michigan Senate voted 23-12 for Senate Bill 335 on Thursday. On Tuesday, the House voted 62-45 in favor it. read more

posted on 09/20/2017

16 Lawmakers Have Received More Than $1,000 In Free Food And Drink So Far In 2017, Filings Show

Michigan lobbyists reported spending $540,598 on food and drink purchases for public officeholders over the first seven months of 2017, according to new state disclosures. That total is the second highest ever posted for the first seven months of a year and isn't far from the record. Some state officeholders, including high-ranking lawmakers, have received a larger portion of the free food and drink from lobbyists than others. read more

posted on 09/18/2017

Lobbyist Spending In Michigan Stays On Record Pace

Lobbyists reported spending a record amount trying to influence Michigan officeholders in 2016. Over the first seven months of 2017, they matched their record pace. From Jan. 1, 2017, through July 31, 2017, lobbyists reported spending a total of $21.8 million in Michigan, about the same total that they spent over the first seven months of 2016, $21.7 million. read more

posted on 09/11/2017

Amid Push For Tax Incentives, Quicken Loans Boosted Lobbying Efforts, According To Disclosures

As its chairman pushed for tax breaks to help spur a 52-story development in downtown Detroit, mortgage company Quicken Loans increased its efforts to develop relationships with Lansing lawmakers. According to new disclosures, Quicken Loans spent more on lobbying state government in the first seven months of 2017 — $159,475 — than it had spent in an entire year previously. read more

posted on 09/11/2017

15 State Officeholders, $4 Million In Contributions

The top 15 fundraisers serving in state government have combined to attract more than $4.4 million in contributions over the first seven months of 2017. Most of the money has gone to officials’ candidate committees, which collect funds for their own campaigns for offices. But the officials are also raising money for PACs, which help fund other campaigns, nonprofit organizations and administrative accounts. read more

posted on 08/03/2017

Announced and Potential Candidates For Governor Have Raised $7 Million In 2017

While they’re still a year away from collecting official votes for governor, a field of potential candidates in Michigan has already amassed more than $7.5 million in campaign cash. Six candidates officially running to be the state’s next governor and two potential candidates reported in fundraising disclosures due today that combined, they had $7.5 million sitting in accounts on July 20. read more

posted on 07/25/2017

Top Spenders In Races For The Legislature Are Raising More Money Than In Past Years

The main fundraising committees of the House Republicans, the House Democrats, the Senate Republicans and the Senate Democrats combined to raise $3.1 million in 2017 as of July 20, according to campaign finance disclosures due today. Over the last decade, the four committees had previously never combined to raise more than $3 million as of July 20 in the year before the election year. read more

posted on 07/25/2017

25 State Officeholders Combined To Attract $800k In Contributions To Their PACs In Less Than 4 Months

With individual donations reaching as high as $100,000, political action committees tied to 25 top Michigan officeholders raised $799,522 over the first months of 2017. Traditionally, interest groups use PACs to raise money and then to make contributions to candidates they prefer. But state officeholders, seeking to advance their own influence within Lansing, also use them. read more

posted on 05/11/2017

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