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Front running GOP candidates for Congress are both backed by members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure

July 30, 2020

Based upon the most recent data from the Center for Political Responsibility, there two leading GOP candidates running for the seat that is being vacated by Justin Amash and both of these candidates are being financed by families and companies that are part of the Grand Rapids Power Structure.

Peter Meijer and Lynn Afendoulis are the two leading COP candidates for the 3rd Congressional seat that is up for grabs and on the August 4th Primary Election ballot.

The DeVos family is the main backer of Peter Meijer, both with individual family members contributions, plus RDV Corporation and the Amway Corporation. Other members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure that have contributed to Meijer are the Meijer Corporation, the Secchia family’s company Sibsco LLC, Bissell, Gordon Foods and the Van Andel Institute.

Lynn Afendoulis hasn’t raised nearly as much as Peter Meijer in her bid for the 3rd Congressional seat, but she also has received campaign contributions from individuals and companies that are part of the Grand Rapids Power Structure. Among those that have contributed are Autocam (John Kennedy), UFP Industries (Peter Secchia), National Association of Realtors, Varnum Law, the Huizenga Group (J.C. Huizenga) and Wolverine Oil & Gas.

There are three other GOP candidates listed as running for the 3rd Congressional seat, but only Tom Norton has any campaign finance information as of the last filing date. Elections are not exclusively won by the amount of money that a candidate raises, but in most cases, those with the biggest war chest are often the winners.

Between Meijer and Afendoulis, whoever wins the Primary race next week, will then run against Hillary Scholten in the November election. It is likely that the wealthiest families and largest companies in West Michigan will back whoever wins between Meijer and Afendoulis. If either of those two candidates win, they will most certainly be beholden to the corporations and and families that make up the Grand Rapids Power Structure. The next time you thin that the philanthropy of DeVos, Meijer, Secchia, Kennedy and Huizenga families are benign, remember that they finance candidates who adopt policies that do tremendous harm to Black and latinx communities, working class people, immigrants and other socially marginalized communities.

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