Skip to content

The Mayor of Grand Rapids is term limited, so why are influential people still giving her campaign money?

August 3, 2021

In 2014, when voters decided to term limit Grand Rapids elected officials, those who would win City Commission or Mayoral seats could only serve a maximum of two 4-year terms. 

Mayor Bliss was voted in as Mayor in 2016 and 2020, thus she will no longer be able to be the Mayor or Grand Rapids past December 31st of 2024. 

According to the most recent campaign finance date (obtained through the Kent County Clerk), Mayor Bliss has $63,963.82 as a balance. It is possible that Bliss might be considering a run for a different elected position, but nothing has been announced to confirm that sort of speculation.

However, in the most recent campaign finance report for January 1st, through July 20th, 2021, Mayor Bliss had received an additional $2,800. Now, this is a small amount, but what is important to point out is who Mayor Bliss received that money from. The most recent campaign finance report show that 15 people contributed, and they all contributed the same amount, $175. Here is a list of those who contributed:

Mike Ellis – Ellis Parking

David Custer – Custer Inc.

Ray Kisor – former Real Estate Broker and Owner of RJK Investments LLC

Carl Erickson – President of Atomic Object

John Truscott – Truscott Rosman, former staff of John Engler

Lawrence Duthler – President of Sun Title

Win Irwin – Irwin Seating

Keith Brophy – CEO of Business Lab

Jim Conner – Manager Triangle Associates Inc.

Ginny Seyferth – President Seyferth PR

John Wheeler – President Orion Construction

Meredith Bronk – President OST

Monica App – Vice President of Properties for Rockford Construction

Rick Baker – CEO of Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Peter Albertini – Realtor for Albertini Properties

All of these people have influence, especially through the companies they are a part of. In addition, many of them sit on the boards of government committees and non-profits in the area, thus further extending their influence, particularly through a pro-Capitalist lens. Lastly, there are several in this group who are also part of the West Michigan Policy Forum (WMPF), which seeks to influence public policy at the state level. Over the years, we have documented the kinds of policies they have worked to put in place, policies that are politically far right and similar to the kinds of policies that the Koch Bothers have been pushing for decades across the country.

The bottom line is that people on this list do not contribute money to politicians without expecting something in return. Whether or not Mayor Bliss decides to run for a higher officer is still undecided, but her history of taking money from wealthy and influential people should be disconcerting to anyone who has a commitment to social justice. 

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: