michigan campaign finance network

Michigan Senate Chamber - file photo by Cheyna Roth, Michigan Public Radio Network
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Non-profit groups can provide things like backpacks and scholarships. But an analysis from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network shows that money donated to those groups can also be a way to get the attention of a state lawmaker.

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The Michigan Campaign Finance Network looked into the connections between state lawmakers and non-profit groups that can accept unlimited donations from secret donors. The watchdog group’s director Craig Mauger says they found that a majority of lawmakers have ties to one of those groups. 

Mauger says the non-profit organizations don’t have to disclose their donors, so it creates secrecy around the relationship between lawmakers and people trying to influence them. While the non-profit groups are not supposed to participate in political activity, they do give lawmakers a chance to promote themselves to potential voters. Mauger says many times groups with business before a lawmaker donate money to a non-profit organization with ties to that state representative or senator.

State Capitol - file photo. Photo by Cheyna Roth, Michigan Public Radio Network
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan Public Radio Network Reporter Cheyna Roth says the Michigan Supreme Court is likely to decide if changes made by the Legislature to voter initiated laws will stand.

Voting sign outside polling place - file photo by Andrew Robins, WMUK
Andrew Robins / WMUK-FM

Michigan Campaign Finance Network Director Craig Mauger says record after record is falling as the numbers come in for this year’s political spending, and the final figures won’t be known until January.

Andy Robins / WMUK

The most expensive state Senate primary in Michigan this year was in the district that includes Allegan and Van Buren County. The district that includes parts of Kalamazoo and Calhoun County was the most expensive state House primary. But other Southwest state House and Senate districts could be expensive battle grounds in November.