Skip to content

Michigan Governor’s race ads are being paid for by corporate money, on both sides

September 11, 2018

With the primaries behind us in Michigan, campaign money will to more focused up until the November election.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) recently released data on entities contributing to the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) and the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA), in terms of who is financing paid ads for the Governor’s race in Michigan between Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer. 

The DGA and the RGA are 527 organizations that disclose their donors on a quarterly basis through the Internal Revenue Service. Both groups raise money from across the country, including from some donors based in Michigan.

MCFN examined the top donors to each group from the start of 2017 through the end of June 2018 to see which donors listing Michigan addresses have given the most. Here’s what we found.

Top Michigan-Based Donors To RGA

1. DeVos family, Amway, $375,000
2. McKinley Associates, Ann Arbor, $200,000
3. Michigan Chamber, $100,000
4. ITC Holdings, $101,800
5. DTE Energy, $100,000
6. Edward Levy, Edward C. Levy Co., $75,000
7. J.C. Huizenga, Huizenga Group, $75,000

Top Michigan-Based Donors To DGA

1. Greenleaf Trust, Kalamazoo, $350,000
2. General Motors, $240,000
3. Fiat, $50,000
4. Dow International Finance, Midland, $45,000 (Dow gave $50,000 to the RGA)
5. Richard Schiffrin, Grant Eisenhofer, Farmington Hills, $25,000
6. Ford, $25,000
7. ITC Holdings, $25,000

For people in Michigan who are familiar with the big campaign donors, it’s no surprise to see names like DeVos, the Chamber of Commerce and JC Huizenga. What people may not be used to seeing are the list of entities contributing to the Democrats in this case, such as GM, Fiat, Dow, Ford, ITC Holdings and the Stryker Corporation connected Greenleaf Trust.

This raises questions, such as why would the major auto manufacturers, DOW and the other corporate entities be backing the Democratic candidate for Governor? What would these same corporations want in return, since no corporation or member of the capitalist class contributes to political campaigns without expecting something in return.

For those who are not blinded by partisanship, they would be aware of the fact that corporate America has been backing both major parties for decades now. If one does any kind of a search on, one can clearly see that most major industry sectors contribute to both Republicans and Democrats. For example, look at what the Insurance Industry has contributed to both parties in the past year and the past 2 decades.  Another example would be the pharmaceutical industry, which also spreads their money to both parties. 

The bottom line is that if we are going to be informed about where we put our energies in terms of social change, whether it be movement building or voting, we need to always follow the money before making decisions.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: