candidate en Outside groups outspend Michigan candidates on campaign TV ads <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A new report finds that for every dollar spent by a Michigan candidate in campaign ads, outside groups have spent $3.50.</span></p><p>Looking at it another way: of the $18 million spent on campaign TV ads over the first half of this year, outside groups paid for $14 million of that.</p><p>Rich Robinson, executive director of the campaign spending watchdog group Michigan Campaign Finance Network, talked about the consequences of outside money in Michigan political campaigns.</p><p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 12:30:24 +0000 Stateside Staff 18264 at Outside groups outspend Michigan candidates on campaign TV ads Hoekstra says he'll decide Senate run within 2 weeks <p>Former West Michigan Congressman <a href="">Pete Hoekstra</a> says he will decide within the next two weeks whether to launch a 2012 Senate run, the Grand Rapids Press <a href="">reports</a>. The U.S. Senate seat is currently held by Democrat <a href="">Debbie Stabenow</a>. Stabenow has held the seat since 2000. From the <a href="">Grand Rapid Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Hoekstra, who lost a bruising Republican gubernatorial primary in 2010 and left Congress after nine terms, has consistently performed well in polls in hypothetical head-to-head matchups with Stabenow.</p></blockquote><p>The only Republican to declare candidacy for the seat so far is Randy Hekman, a former Kent County judge. He <a href="">announced his candidacy earlier this month</a>. Heckman is <a href="">pastor of Crossroads Bible Church in Grand Rapids</a>, CEO of&nbsp; research consulting firm Hekman Industries.&nbsp;He directed and helped start the <a href="">Michigan Family Forum</a>; a conservative non-profit group that tries to influence state policy. He served in the Navy, is an attorney and sat on the bench in Kent County probate court for 15 years.</p><p>Other <a href="">possible GOP candidates</a> for the Senate seat include former Secretary of State <a href="">Terri Lynn Land</a> and former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party <a href="">Saul Anuzis</a>. Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:56:07 +0000 Zoe Clark 1826 at Hoekstra says he'll decide Senate run within 2 weeks