Weekly Political Roundup
5:25 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Weekly Political Roundup: Campaign donation limits, impact on 2014 elections

Each Thursday we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. 

This morning, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules that would require more disclosure of who pays for issue ads. The Senate added language to block the Secretary of State’s proposal, and approved a bill that would double the amount an individual could contribute to a candidate or a candidate committee.

“What the Secretary of State is trying to do is level a very unequal playing field when it comes to financing campaigns,” Sikkema explains. “Right now, a candidate committee has to disclose everybody who gave any amount of money, and there are severe limits on how much an individual can give. But independent committees do not have to disclose and there are no limits as to contributions.”

After moving quickly through the Senate, this proposal now faces the House.

Demas speculates whether this bill could influence the 2014 elections. She says, “It would have an impact, but maybe not as much as people may fear. In reality, doubling the amount you can give to a candidate probably won’t have that much of an impact because so much of these elections are financed by money that can’t be tracked.”

As for overall finances in the 2014 elections, Demas predicts that Michigan will be one of the states with the most spending in 2014.

Listen to the full interview above.

-Clare Toeniskoetter, Michigan Radio Newsroom