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Members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure are major contributors to PACs for the 2018 Election

August 28, 2017

According to some recent data from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, there are several members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure who have contributed significantly to various Political Action Committees for the 2018 Election cycle. 

The amount of money raised so far by the top 150 PACs in Michigan, is “the highest total posted by the top 150 PACs at this point in a two-year election cycle in at least a decade and could be the highest in state history, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network’s past tracking.” 

Members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure are some of the larger contributors to these PACs. For instance, the House Republican Campaign Committee, which has raised more money to its PAC than all other PACs til now received contributions from:

  • Nancy and John Kennedy, Autocam, $80,000
  • Peter and Joan Secchia, of the company Sibsco
  • J.C. Huizenga, Huizenga Group $30,000
  • Michael Jandernoa, Perrigo, $20,000

Contributing to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee PAC from the Grand Rapids Power Structure were:

  • J.C. Huizenga, Westwater Group, $30,000
  • John Kennedy, Autocam, $20,000
  • Michael Jandernoa, of the company Perrigo, $20,000

The Business Leaders for Michigan’s Super PAC received large contributions from:

  • Michael Jandernoa, former CEO of Perriogo, $20,000
  • Doug DeVos, president of Amway, $10,000

The Complete Michigan PAC (Sen. Mike Shirkey) received a contribution from:

  • John Kennedy, the CEO of Autocam, $40,000

Members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure also contributed to PACs that are connected to members of the Michigan House and Senate. In the 73rd House District, Rep. Chris Afendoulis received funds from the Meijer PAC, $2,500 and the Kennedy family, Autocam $2,000.

The only other members of the Michigan House or Senate to receive PAC money so far for the 2018 election cycle were:

  • 74th House District, Rep. Rob VerHeulen  received $1,000 from the Meijer PAC
  • 77th House District, Rep. Tommy Brann Received $500 from the Meijer PAC
  • 28th Senate District, Sen. Peter MacGregor received $1,500 from the Meijer PAC

Lastly, it is important to note that these same members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure are also interconnected through the organizations and associations they are part of in West Michigan. It makes complete sense that many of these wealthy individuals are connected through organizations, since these very same entities are committed to furthering the very interests of these wealthy members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure.

Of the members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure mentioned above, many of them are connected through the following groups:

  • West Michigan Policy Forum – John Kennedy, Doug DeVos, Michael Jandernoa, J.C. Huizenga, Peter Secchia and Meijer.
  • The Right Place Inc. – John Kennedy and Hank Meijer
  • Grand Action – Michael Jandernoa
  • The Acton Institute – J.C. Huizenga and John Kennedy
  • Van Andel Institute Board of Trustees – John Kennedy
  • Spectrum Health Board of Trustees – Joan Secchia
  • GVSU Board of Trustees – John Kennedy
  • West Michigan United Way Board – Michael Jandernoa

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