Southwest Michigan Today: Monday June 3, 2019

Jun 3, 2019

State Capitol Rotunda - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Bills in the state House would require state office holders and candidates to disclose their finances. Members of Congress, including most of Michigan’s delegation are using leadership PACs to raise money for other candidates. The Kalamazoo Growlers sweep a double header while the Battle Creek Bombers are shut out. 

(MPRN) Lawmakers in the state House will consider bills this week that they say would increase transparency in state government. The package of bills would require elected officials from the governor to members of the board of education to disclose their finances. Candidates hoping to obtain elected office would also have to disclose. Craig Mauger with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a nonpartisan watchdog organization that follows money in politics, says Michigan is one of two states that doesn’t require any personal financial disclosures from its elected officials. The bills have large bipartisan support in the state House. But they could hit a roadblock in the Senate. Majority leader, Senator Mike Shirkey has spoken out against financial disclosures for lawmakers.

(Detroit News) Critics say leadership PACs are being used by members of Congress to avoid limits on campaign contributions. Most Representatives and Senators have a leadership PAC, The Detroit News says that includes at least 10 out of 14 members of Michigan’s House delegation, and both U-S Senators. The News says West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton’s leadership PAC spent more than 50-thousand dollars on hotels, food and events in Chicago over the last two years. That includes more than 46-hundred dollars on Chicago Cubs tickets. Leadership PACs are operated separately from the candidate’s campaign committee. A spokesman for Upton says the expenses were used to raise money to help elect candidates around the country who support common sense policies.

(MPRN) Governor Gretchen Whitmer says people’s safety is at stake in the debate over road funding. The governor has called for a 45-cent increase in the fuel tax to pay for repairs. Governor Whitmer used the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference on Mackinac Island last week to lobby for her proposal. She challenged Republicans to offer an alternative if they don’t like her plan. She says the $2.5-billion price tag is big because the problem has been ignored for so long. The Michigan Department of Transportation says a third of Michigan’s roads will be in poor condition within two years. Whitmer says she’s particularly concerned about the condition of Michigan’s bridges.

In baseball, Kalamazoo swept a double header at Kenosha Sunday, winning the first game 4-3 and the nightcap 7-4. The Growlers host Rockford for a two game series at Homer Stryker Field beginning Monday night.

Battle Creek lost to Traverse City 4-0. The Bombers were held to one hit as the Pit Spitters completed a sweep of the two game series. Battle Creek will host Kokomo Monday night to begin a two game series at C.O. Brown Stadium.