There’s a New Easy-to-Use Tool Now Available to Follow the Money in Michigan Politics
“Right now, it can be difficult for a member of the public to find the true answer to the question of who’s given the most to my representative. The idea behind this new tool is simple: Make it easier for people to investigate who’s written the largest disclosed checks over time to benefit specific elected officials.” — Craig Mauger, executive director of Michigan Campaign Finance Network
It’s been a brutally hot summer, and understandably many of those otherwise adroit members of the electorate have glazed-over from the GOP’s flaming dumpster parade. Yet, for those precious few Michigan voters still in possession of their faculties, who find themselves capable of peeling their weary eyes away from the rolling RNC shitshow in Cleveland (literally, with a norovirus garnish), there is a valuable new resource available for them to use to examine the fundraising habits of those equally critical down-ballot officials.
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network has developed a user-friendly searchable database designed to reveal who is buying state lawmakers, along with various other officials. Because now, more than ever, it’s important to take a break from the national conflagration, and spend a moment considering the political landscape at home. Hate to agree with Ted Cruz, but more attention must be paid to state and local elections.
Every two years the entirety of the Michigan House is up for grabs — a biennial prescription for a legislative logjam deep in the bowels of Lansing. It’s a condition especially prone during the busy campaign fundraising season. Starting in January, and running through November, with no meaningful action through the summer months other than a half-assed budget — all of Michigan suffers. Relief is not achieved until the lame-duck session in December, when the retentive sluices open-up to spew forth some of the most foul proposals — effluent intended as a giant stinking thank you to big money donors, and a flaming bag of crap for constituents.
Naturally, Michigan House members are cranky. Just imagine if you could only unload every two years.
The new MCFN database provides us with an easy-access, detailed list of the corporate laxatives Lansing prefers. It’s much easier to navigate than the clunky secretary of state site. No cramping, very smooth.
In addition to lawmakers, the new tracking tool includes the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and funds for both party caucuses in each house. Naturally, of interest are the monied sponsors of current Attorney General Bill Schuette, with his gubernatorial aspirations and political machinations well-known over the years. His snail’s crawl to the governor’s mansion is no secret, with him occupying every elected office below, excluding dog-catcher. Schuette’s political finance profile includes many of the corporate heavy-hitters expected in Michigan politics. It’s worth a look-see.
The MCFN tracking tool identifies top donors to each candidate, and additionally discloses various sources not necessarily tracked by the secretary of state, such as PACs, administrative accounts, and reporting nonprofits. The database provides voters with a more complete picture of the money trail. The information is updated regularly as new reports and disclosures become available.
So, get on it folks! — See who’s bankrolling your elected leaders.