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Monday, February 25, 2019

Report: 40 Michigan families spent $56M in 2018 elections

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 11:52 AM

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In case you forgot that the wealthy have an excessive amount of influence over politics, a new report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network reveals that Michigan's wealthiest families spent $56 million on political contributions ahead of the 2018 election.

As MCFN's Craig Mauger notes, the totals don't include contributions made to dark money nonprofits, which aren't required to disclose their donors.

The trend correlates with contributions at the national level. The Center For Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks federal campaign finances, keeps a list of the top 100 megadonors who collectively contribute hundreds of millions of dollars each election cycle.

The names of the Michigan families might be familiar to most Michiganders. The DeVos clan topped the list with $11.3 million in contributions. The Morouns, who own the Ambassador Bridge, and billionaire Pete Karmanos donated $1.3 million and $1.1 million, respectively. The Penskes, the Fords, the Meijers, and the Van Andels are all there.

One family that surprisingly didn't crack the top 40 is the Ilitches. That means that state-level politicians are letting the family exploit taxpayers and destroy Detroit for nothing in return.

It's also worth noting that several of those in the top 10 are former candidates who self-funded campaigns. That includes failed Dem gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar, who donated $10.4 million to his campaign; failed GOP U.S. House candidate Sandy Pensler, who donated $5 million to his campaign; and failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Hines, who donated $2.6 million to his campaign.

For the full list, check out Michigan Campaign Finance Network's story.

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