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Who are the biggest political donors in Grand Rapids?

September 15, 2011

Radical Historian Howard Zinn used to say in America you either have organized people or organized money. It is debatable as to whether or not we have organized people in this area, but we certainly have organized money.

Organized money was given an edge on organized people when the US Supreme Court passed Citizen’s United vs the FEC, which granted unlimited campaign contributions. Corporations and other entities are breaking records of what they are donating and the Center for Responsible Politics is estimating that President Obama might raise more than a billion dollars in his re-election bid.

The Center for Responsible Politics also provides research tools so you can see who the biggest political donors are in your area. You can search by state, Congressional district or by zip code. Here is what we found out about who the major donors are in the Grand Rapids area.

In the 49503 zip code we find that the largest donors in the 2012 election cycle so far are: Peter Seechia $30,800; Helen DeVos $30,400, Richard DeVos $30,400, Dan DeVos $10,000 and Pam DeVos $10,000. The largest recipients of this money from the 49503 zip code are: the Republican National Committee $91,600, Justin Amash $36,000, the Republican Party of Michigan $20,000 and Randall Heckman $14,500.

From the 49504 zip code area the two largest donors are Susan and Michael Jandernoa, both who have contributed $30,800. Jandernoa is the CEO of the Perrigo Company. Their money has primarily gone to the Republican National Committee, $62,100.

In the 49506 zip code area the largest donors are: JC Huizenga $5,000, Pat Miles Jr. $5,000, Bill Lewis $2,500, Margaret & Paul Potter $2,500 each, Scott Brew $2,500, David and Nancy Kammeraad $2,500 each and James Nicholas $2,000. The largest recipients of money from the 49503 zip code are Justin Amash $13,100 and Barack Obama $10,950.

From the 49546 zip code area (East Grand Rapids) the largest donors are: Calvin College President Gaylen Byker $61,600, Kate Pew Walters $5,000, Attallah Amash $5,000, Marie Amash $5,000, Eric Larsen $5,000 and Marcy Larsen $2,500. The largest recipients from the 49546 zip code area are: National Republican Committee $63,100 and Justin Amash $26,970.

The largest donors from the 49512 zip code area are: John Kennedy (Autocam CEO) $43,300, Nancy Kennedy $15,000, JC Huizenga $12,000 and Keith Klopcic $5,000. The top recipient of money coming from the 49512 zip code are: Republican National Committee $30,800 and the Republican Party of Michigan $30,000.

There is data for money from the other zip codes in the Grand Rapids area, but the donation numbers are small in comparison to the zip codes already listed. However, this data should give you an idea of who the organized money is coming from and who it is going to from Grand Rapids.

One Comment leave one →
  1. kswheeler permalink
    September 16, 2011 3:27 am

    Jeff, I always appreciate you doing these articles as elections approach. Our political system is bought and paid for by the wealthy elite, and it’s useful to know who owns which votes.

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