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West Michigan has 5 of the top 10 political contributors in Michigan for 2019

March 3, 2020

Members of the 1% class in West Michigan continue to assert tremendous influence with electoral politics in Michigan.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) recently posted an article about the top campaign contributors in Michigan for 2019. 

This article provides numbers on how state legislators were receiving their funding (individual donor, self-funding or PAC money), along with a breakdown of how much the Republicans and the Democrats raised in 2019, specifically from PAC contributions. In the 2019, the Democrats raised $2.9 million, while the Republicans raised $8.2 million.

In addition, the article provides a list of the top 10 families contributing in 2019, with 5 of the top ten being families from West Michigan. This has been consist for the past 20 years, with the DeVos family always listed as the largest in the past 3 decades. The combined total of the 5 families from West Michigan comes to roughly $1.175 million in campaign contributions for 2019 alone.

In addition to contributing to the GOP, these West Michigan families sit on the boards of entities like, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the West Michigan Policy Forum, the Right Place Inc, the Acton Institute, Talent 2025 and many other organizations which promote policies that benefit their friends in the capitalist class, while devastating black and brown communities, indigenous people, the LGBTQ community, undocumented immigrants, women fighting for reproductive justice, public education and the environment.

As we have documented over and over again, these members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure also use their foundations to then provide some assistance to the very same communities who have been negatively impacted by the policies adopted by state legislators they fund. This demonstrates the absurdity of the non-profit industrial complex in Grand Rapids, since many of the non-profits would not need to exist if these families were not pushing unjust policies, plus it means that these same non-profits will not publicly challenge the root causes of the injustices they claim to be addressing.

It’s all a well oiled machine, which is exactly why these families from West Michigan contribute millions to get policies passed that will primarily benefit their position of power and expand their wealth. This is exactly what West Michigan Nice looks like.

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