New report: Michigan PACs break record, raise $68 million

By Alisha Green
Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new report says the top 150 political action committees in Michigan raised $68.1 million in the 2014 election cycle, shattering a previous record by 31 percent.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network said Monday that the groups raised the money throughout 2013 and 2014 in an effort to influence the 2014 elections.

The previous record for PAC fundraising in the state was $51.9 million during the 2006 election cycle.

Many of the top PACs in the 2014 election cycle were super PACs, groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money including funds from unions and corporations. Thirty-two of the top 150 PACs were super PACs.

The Republican Governors Association Michigan PAC raised the most in the 2014 cycle, with more than $4.6 million. The group returned $4.2 million to its parent organization, the Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $10 million for TV ads supporting Gov. Rick Snyder’s re-election campaign. Similarly, the Democratic Governors Association Michigan PAC raised $137,500, but its parent organization spent more than $15 million for TV ads trying to influence the 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Michigan, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
Some $3 million of the money raised for the 2014 election cycle was reported for the first time in February because of PAC filing deadlines set by the state.

Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, said, “It prevents people from knowing who is creating the messages that are essentially designed to define the candidates. A large
part of evaluating a message is knowing who is paying for it.”

The top 10 Michigan PACs that raised the most money for the 2014 election cycle were:

1. RGA Michigan PAC — $4.69 million

2. House Republican Campaign Committee — $3.96 million

3. MI House Democratic Fund — $3.3 million

4. Turnaround Detroit — $3.17 million

5. United Auto Workers / UAW MI Voluntary PAC — $2.94 million

6. Senate Republican Campaign Committee — $2.59 million

7. Michigan for All — $2.09 million

8. Workers Voice — $1.5 million

9. NEA Advocacy Fund — $1.21 million

10. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of MI / BCBSM PAC — $1.18 million
 

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