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Snyder’s claim to accept no PAC money now in question

September 13, 2011

A few days ago the Detroit News posted a story questioning Governor Snyder’s claim that he won’t be beholden to “special interests.” According to the story, Snyder “has set up three new funds that can accept unlimited corporate donations.”

One of the funds, called the Governor’s Club, was set up under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code to pay certain expenses Snyder incurs as a result of being governor, records obtained by The News show.

A second, called the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund, is a “civic action and social welfare” fund set up under the same section of the code as the Kilpatrick Civic Fund created by former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Unlike donors to the Governor’s Club, those who give to the NERD Fund don’t have to publicly disclose their identities or how much they give.

Snyder’s third new fund, the Foundation to Reinvent Michigan, is a charity set up to pay for repair and maintenance to the governor’s official residences. Donors to that fund also don’t have to be publicly disclosed.”

The article also states:

Money donated to the Governor’s Club will be used to pay for job-related expenses that are more political. Examples include travel to meetings of the Republican Governors Association, the Republican National Convention and the Michigan Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island.

The Governor’s Club, formed in March, disclosed $117,500 in receipts in its first report to the IRS on Aug. 1. Donations included $25,000 each from AT&T of Michigan; the Michigan Health and Hospital Association; former U-M athletic director Bill Martin; and Credit Bureau of Ypsilanti President Peter Fletcher; and $10,000 from the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers. Paid expenses included $25,000 to De Witt Communications, an East Lansing consulting firm headed by Chris De Witt.”

It would appear that Snyder is beholden to special interests with the limited information we have, since there is limited transparency on which entities are contributing to the Governor’s three new funds.

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