You Are Going to Know A Whole Lot Less The Next Time You Vote
The Michigan House and Senate sent a much revised and dramatically expanded Senate Bill 571 H-3 to Governor Snyder last Wednesday. Introduced by Senator Kowall as a 12 page bill establishing some esoteric campaign finance rules for various types of PACs in Michigan, this bill morphed into a 53 page political grab bag incorporating SB 638 S-2 at the very last minute. It creates a whole new way to conceal political expenditures from public scrutiny until long after an election is over. Think of it as the mafia’s code of omertà applied to Michigan campaign finance.
Now to the really devious aspect of SB 571 H-3, which our nitwit media missed. MCL 169.233(3)(a) currently requires ‘independent committees’ to report their financial expenditures on behalf of candidates and ballot questions four times a year. ‘Independent committees’ currently have to file reports on their campaign finance activities during February, April, July, and October. This is not quite a quarterly basis, but it is fairly well spaced out through the year. MCL 169.233(1) already exempts ‘independent committees’ from the regular election campaign statement reporting schedule – immediately before and after elections – required of most other committees. MCL 169.233(5) requires ‘independent committees’ to file reports of expenditures made within 45 days before a special election, but it is easy to use prepayments and accounts payable to avoid this window during most special elections. And this 45 day reporting window does not exist for regular elections. So you are only going to get quarterly reports from ‘independent committees, except in rare circumstances.
Section 33(3) of SB 571 H-3 completely eliminates the February campaign finance report for all types of committees, including independents. This creates a bastard reporting schedule consisting of two quarterly reports and one semiannual report five months after November elections.. Most political committees have to file pre and post election statements, so their campaign expenditures and sources of funds will continue to be known on a timely basis, regardless of this change. But independent committees are not required to file pre and post campaign reports for regular elections, so they will now have a six month interval after their October reports before they have to report their finances – on April 25th of the following year.
However, he filed his committee’s 1999 statement (covering 1998) on time from his current Holland residence, but then failed to file his 2000 statement (covering 1999). Somehow the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections overlooked this failure to file for 14 years.
Mr. Storey’s real problems with Michigan’s campaign finance law began in 2012, the year he ran for the Allegan County Commission’s 2nd District, a race which he won. He filed his 2012 annual statement (covering 2011) late, then fails to file his next four required statements until the eve of his 80th District filing.
The filing he did make with the Secretary of State in 2012 referenced 105th District state representative race. Then on 15 September 2015 he created the ambiguous ‘Jim Story for Allegan County’, referencing his 80th District State House candidacy.
An Establishment Republican Candidate Seeks Lobbyists' Love
The special election underway in Michigan’s 80th House District is a consequence of forbidden love. Now one candidate in this special election is running for the entirely legal love of Michigan’s political money class.
Michigan’s campaign finance laws do not require financial reporting by candidate committees in the November 3rd special primary until October 23rd, but three of the filed candidates have active campaign committees whose past financial statements are open for public review.