Hidden donors keep the swamp critters alive.
Clearly there are people with financial stake in certain players gaining the governor’s seat. Some interests might be as innocuous as self preservation, and some may be to game the system. But it’s all in play and the hidden stuff can be spooky. From Crains this morning:
Three of the leading candidates to be Michigan’s next chief executive have benefited from large sums of cash that can’t be easily followed to their original sources because of federal laws allowing not-for-profit organizations to influence elections outside of the state’s campaign finance law.
Former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor has been aided by $550,000 in concealed donations from two entities that don’t appear to exist in public records.
Attorney General Bill Schuette’s bid for the Republican nomination in next Tuesday’s primary also has been boosted by $1.2 million in untraceable donations flowing from two so-called “dark money” front organizations that can legally conceal the identities of their donors.
And Lt. Gov. Brian Calley got $1.3 million of free advertising through a TV commercial promoting his work with Gov. Rick Snyder turning around Michigan’s economy that was paid for by a Snyder-led group that doesn’t have to disclose its funding sources.
The last guy listed here knows who is footing the bill for his spots I imagine.
He stars in those ads.
In any event, Blue Cross Blue Shield was let off its leash in 2013 walking away with Michigan taxpayer money and made untouchable. It’s relationship with those who would restore much of its monopoly power should be noted. However they are not squealing:
Those donations to the pro-Whitmer group have fueled questions from her Democratic opponents as to whether those mystery entities are operating for the sole purpose of concealing corporate money from a big business like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which has allied with Whitmer but not made a traceable donation to her bid to be governor.
“Build a Better Michigan is nothing but a shell for dark money PACs and unlimited money from corporate CEOs who have interest in a Whitmer-led Michigan,” said Adam Joseph, spokesman for El-Sayed. “There is only one reason these corporations and secretive groups are shelling out thousands of dollars to try and get Gretchen Whitmer elected: they want to keep their privilege in a Whitmer administration.”
But whether Blue Cross Blue Shield played any role in helping bankroll the pro-Whitmer group Build a Better Michigan is a lingering question the state’s largest health insurance company won’t answer.
Of course BCBS won’t answer.
Being un-collared, (Former AG Mike Cox was their best handler to be honest) they don’t have to. Once upon a time they were beholden to the legislature, but now run free-range and can bundle money where it serves their board of director’s interest best. Anyhow they have been feeding the GOP as well.
Playing the field is not a hard thing to do when flush with unequaled cash reserves. BCBSmi DID walk away with $Billions given to them by a GOP legislature and governor.
The swamp is alive and well friends. Read the complete piece.