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DeVos, Gilbert and friends are still buying elections

December 15, 2015

We are less than a year away from the next Presidential Election and already it is clear that the super rich are buying the election.Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 4.32.38 PM

This should in no way be surprising to those who have seriously looked at how elections function in the US, but it is always useful to follow the money.

Below is a listing of the top corporate political contributions as of November 16, 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

The top contributor so far is Rock Holdings, which is a subsidiary of Dan Gilbert’s company Quicken Loans. Gilbert has been buying up property all over Detroit in recent years and is a major player in the gentrification on the east side of the state. Gilbert’s election contributions in Michigan are to the Republican Party and candidates.

Number two on the list is Jon Stryker Architecture, which is part of the Stryker Corporation and Stryker family wealth. The Stryker family has a long history of contributing to the Democratic Party and its candidates, which they continue to do in this cycle. Their support for the Democrats, makes it clear in Michigan, like in any other state that the rich buy elections regardless of party affiliation.

Third on this list corporate purchasing of elections is the Kojaian Companies. The Kojaian Management Corporation owns and operates industrial real estate properties around the state, including near the Grand Rapids airport, Byron Center, Walker, Holland and Zeeland. Their contributions go primarily to the GOP.

The DeVos Family, through the Amway and Alticor business entities are 5th and 11th on the list so far in political contributions for the 2016 cycle. The DeVos family has consistently contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Party and its candidates and is known for influencing public policy, with a few pieces of legislation in Michigan being the most recent examples. It should also be noted that the amount of money the DeVos family contributes personally is much larger than that which is contributed through the corporation they own.

Some of the other companies listed also have a long track record of buying influence, either through elections or lobbying around state policy. In a recent report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, companies that are listed below, such as Dow, DTE, Ford and Quicken Loans (of which Rock Holdings is a part) have all contributed significantly to political action committees in the current election cycle. 

Again, this is not new information, but should be a reminder of how elections really function. More importantly, the fact that DeVos, Gilbert and other members of the elite are constantly engaged in a class war and will use whatever means necessary to impose their will on the rest of society.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. pjp1 permalink
    December 15, 2015 10:51 pm

    All this talk about money in politics we get already. We all live a Democracy one person one vote simple as that. Capitalism has nothing to do with government it isn’t the fourth branch. If we stop complaining about how elections and elected officials are obviously bought by big money what ever the source and focus our efforts on the obvious problem of getting American’s to exercise their right to vote each and every election no matter how big or small we could be living in a completely different world.

    I do appreciate your articles they always tell what is happening and what isn’t being told by main stream media.

  2. Michael R. Ott permalink
    December 16, 2015 12:34 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Jeff. Although this not really surprising at all, it nevertheless must be trumpeted far and wide. These bourgeois exploiters must be continually exposed for their crimes against humanity in the name of “democracy” and, even worse, in the name of Christ.


    Sent from my iPhone


  3. December 16, 2015 1:01 am

    PjP1, I appreciate the response, however no matter how many people turn out to vote, the policies that are put in place by either of the two main political parties has always served the interests of the ownership class. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have always acted in the interest of the capitalist class. If we want to create substantial change, then we need to learn from history, which teaches us that real change – ending slavery, ending child labor, obtaining civil rights, environmental protects, etc have all come about as a result of social movements. Voting has never really changed anything substantially, but social movements have. Therefore, I’m not complaining, rather I am trying to provide an analysis that informs us of what actions we should take as opposed to repeating the myth that voting, particularly at the federal level, has anything to do with real democracy.

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