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Follow the Money – State Senate and State House races

September 4, 2010

Yesterday, the Grand Rapids Press ran a story about campaign finances for a local State House and State Senate race.

The short article provides some basic financial data for the 75th District House race between Bing Goei (R) and Brandon Dillon (D) and the 29th District State Senate race between Dave Hildenbrand and David LaGrand.

However, the financial data for both races provided by the Press is just the amount each candidate brought in during the last recording period, how much they have spent and their current totals.

As we have stated in a recent posting it is important for voters and the public general to know who is donating money to candidates and what that means in terms of who candidates give their allegiance to.

The Press reporter could easily have found out who has given to each of these candidates recently by searching the Michigan Secretary of State’s database.

For Bing Goei, the largest contributor during the last recording period was himself, where he gave his campaign $3,000. Other significant contributors were the GR Chamber of Commerce ($2,000), Matt Sterenberg ($2,000), Michael Jandernoa/Steelcase ($500), Henry Fox/Fox Sales ($500), Paul Jendrasiak/Bully Spam ($500), James Zawacki/GR Spring and Stamping ($500), John Canepa/Grand Action ($250), Diana Seager/GR Community Foundation ($200), John Loeks/Loeks Theaters ($200) and Steven Ender/GR Community College ($150).

For Brandon Dillon the largest so far are the Michigan Beer and Wine PAC ($1,500), W. Michigan Main Street Fund ($1,500), Hammel Leadership Fund ($1,000), Roy PAC ($1,000), Turnaround PAC ($750), Michigan Laborers Political L ($500), DTE Energy ($500), Troopers Political Action Committee ($500) and Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($500) just to name a few.

For the 29th State Senate race, Republican Dave Hildenbrand the largest campaign contributor in the last recording period was DTE Energy ($3,200), followed by the GR Chamber of Commerce ($3,000), Majority 2010 PAC ($2,500), Fund for Republican Majority ($2,500 twice), MI Doctors PAC ($2,000), Dow Corning Legal Action Team ($1,000), Fifth Third Bank ($1,000) and MI McDonalds Operators PAC ($1,000).

For David LaGrand the largest contributor was Whitmer Leadership Fund ($7,500), West Michigan Main Street Fund ($4,000), MI Association for Justice ($2,000), Sarah Deboer ($1,000), Micigan Laborers PAC ($1,000), Grand Rapids Firefighters Union ($800), Salvatorre Pirrotta/Lawyer ($250) and Frand Stanley/Lawyer ($200).

This is just a summary of the larger donors to each of the four candidates, but it at least provides people with a sense of who is funding them and what that will likely mean no matter who is elected. We will continue to follow these races and report on campaign finances when the data is made public.

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