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GOP State Legislators that are suing Gov. Whitmer have been overwhelmingly funded by members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure

May 7, 2020

On Wednesday, it was announced that Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield are suing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her “abuse of power” with the Stay-at-Home orders.

MLive reported on the lawsuit, stating:

The debate boils down to the interpretation of two Michigan emergency powers laws, from 1945 and 1976.

The 1945 law allows a governor to extend a state of emergency indefinitely, while the 1976 law limits it to 28 days without further approval from the House and Senate.

To view the actual language of the lawsuit, click on this link

However, one thing that was omitted from the news coverage about the lawsuit, is who have been the dominant campaign contributors to both Senator Mike Shirkey and Rep. Lee Chatfield.

According to data provided by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the top 5 campaign contributors to Senator Mike Shirkey are: 

1. John Kennedy and family, Autocam Corporation, $200,000

2. Mike Shirkey, $145,010

3. DeVos family, Amway, $71,000

4. Michigan Bankers Association, $53,250

5. Cotton Family, Meridian Health, $50,000

Both John Kennedy and the DeVos family are members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure. Besides the Michigan Bankers Association the other contributor is the Cotton Family, which ranks in the top 20 for campaign contributions in Michigan in recent years.

The top 5 campaign contributors to Rep. Lee Chatfield are:

1. Republican State Leadership Committee, Washington D.C., $250,000

2. Ron and Eileen Weiser, McKinley, $113,000

3. Lee Chatfield, $78,000

4. DeVos family, Amway, Windquest, $67,500

5. Michigan Values Leadership Fund, Tom Leonard, $62,500

The DeVos family is the only member of the Grand Rapids Power Structure contributing to Rep. Lee Chatfield, but the amount provided, $67,500, is a bit misleading. The number one contributor to Rep. Lee Chatfield has been the Republican Senate Leadership Committee. According to, the DeVos family, through the company they co-founded Amway, had contributed $599,075 to the Republican Senate Leadership Committee in 2016 and $392,000 in 2018. Now, we don’t know how much of the money from the Republican Senate Leadership Committee that went to Chatfield was from the DeVos family, but the point is that the DeVos family’s political contributions to Rep. Lee Chatfield exceeds $67,500 and would likely make them the top contributor to the Speaker of the House in Michigan.

Thus, it seems clear that the two GOP members of the Michigan legislature that have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer, have been both been bankrolled by members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure – the DeVos family and John Kennedy.

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