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Where is the money coming from in the 3rd Congressional Race?

June 19, 2012

As we move into the dog days of summer there is more information available on the campaign funding for the 2012 Election cycle.

In Michigan, incumbents are dominating the fundraising battle so far, in both the Senate race and all of the Congressional races. This disparity in campaign contributions is most glaring in West Michigan, particularly with the 3rd Congressional race.

Republican incumbent Justin Amash is significantly ahead of the two Democratic challengers, Steve Pestka and Trevor Thomas. Since the last required campaign finance records (March 31), Amash has raised $603,196, Pestka $218,187 and Thomas $100,522.

We have known about the primary contributors to the Amash campaign for some time now, with his family’s business being the largest single contributor at $29,500. However, if you added up the combined contributions of the DeVos family the total would be $46,200 – $26,000 (Alticor/Amway), $12,700 (Windquest Group) and $7,500 (DP Fox Ventures).

The largest contributor so far for former State Representative Steve Pestka, is H&H Management & Development, which has contributed $11,455. H&H Management & Development is a West Michigan-based real estate and real estate development company.

There are a few other contributors worth noting. According to the data at the Center for Responsive Politics, Pestka has received $3,500 from Kent County, which doesn’t make sense in terms of an entity. The data also states he has received $2,500 from the Department of Treasury, $1,450 from the State of Michigan and $1,250 from Rockford Public Schools. Each of these contributions listed are either inaccurate data or a clear violation of campaign finance rules, since government agencies or public schools cannot contribute to partisan campaigns.

The largest contributor to the Trevor Thomas campaign as of March 31st is the Democratic Party of Michigan, donating $5,000. According to the data there are several out of state entities who have contributed to Thomas’ campaign. In fact, the data shows that Thomas has received 67% of his campaign contributions from somewhere other than Michigan, (for those who gave $200 or more) with money coming from New York and Washington, DC. Proportionately, the amount of his money coming from out of state (67%), is much larger than either Amash (11%) or Pestka (7%).

The next reporting deadline for campaign finances will be next month and we will provide some updated information on where the money is coming from for elections that impact West Michigan.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Williams permalink
    June 25, 2012 6:27 pm

    The in state / out of state data is somewhat incomplete as these figures only represent donations made over $200. Right?

  2. June 25, 2012 8:31 pm

    Mark, you are correct and I have updated that clarification, but it doesn’t detract from the point that he has received proportionately more campaign contributions from out of state than the other 2 candidates. Are you the same Mark Williams that is working on Trevor’s campaign?

  3. Mark Williams permalink
    June 26, 2012 8:29 pm

    No, you’re right, of data available publicly, Trevor has received significantly more money from out of district donors. My sense, though, is that more of his money has come from donations under 200 dollars than the other candidates, which affects his public numbers more significantly that the others.

    I do not work for Trevor’s campaign, but I am happy to admit that I am a Trevor supporter. I hope it didn’t seem like I wasn’t being fair.

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