Has MITA's Spending Now Slammed Into Its Members' Financial Limits?
MITA (Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association) just added $ 205,000 to the SafeRoadsYes! war chest yesterday. Not much when you consider that they have already lavished $ 5.19 million on SRY. The Detroit Regional Chamber‘s ‘Powering the Economy’ PAC political committee, on the other hand, went one better and added $ 250,000 to the SafeRoadsYes! war chest yesterday. Dwarfs their $ 125,000 in contributions during the regular reporting period. The Detroit Regional Chamber contribution far exceeds the $ 17,105 DRC reportedly had on hand only a few days ago. Someone has given Powering the Economy a lot of money this week, but we won’t be privileged to know whom for three months. Both of these contributions were made to SRY on April 27th, three days after the closing date for the SafeRoadsYes! pre-special general report.
SafeRoadsYes! has evidently burned through the $ 8 million plus they received in contributions during the regular reporting period and is now heading towards a $ 9 million cash burn. Hard to tell how much SRY have spent with any exactitude, the latest figures from April 24th show expenditures of $ 7.212 million. But they had a balance of $ 843,482 on that date which is presumably gone or going quickly. Expect more thrilling stunts and stimulating advertising in any event. Their war chest just got reloaded.
The paltry late contribution from MITA, taken together with the outsized contribution from the Detroit Regional Chamber, suggests that MITA is scraping the bottom of their member’s bank accounts. Or that they are employing a new form of campaign contribution concealment, feeding contributions through DRC’s Powering the Economy so contributors’ identities won’t be reported until after the election. Their servants in Michigan’s media reported the outsized involvement of road constructors in pushing Proposal 1 this week and it hasn’t played well with the voting public.
Will the Proposal 1 fight decapitalize Michigan’s road constructors? Will they raise their bids to recoup their political expenditures, further draining Michigan’s road funding? Are MITA and DRC gaming Michigan’s campaign finance laws to avoid any further embarrassing disclosures? Or have we just found out what $ 1.2 billion in additional annual contracts are really worth in profits to Michigan’s road constructors?