Michigan Senator Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) questioned Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s gift to the Michigan Democratic Party.
The money was funded by excessive campaign donations from individuals collected by Whitmer through a campaign finance loophole, which allowed the governor to cite the threat of a recall to raise unlimited funds.
Multiple groups opposed Whitmer’s use of the rule, even though there was no true recall threat. However, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson ruled the governor did not break any rules. While Benson’s order did not require the governor to return the money to individuals, it did allow Whitmer’s campaign to release the funds to other campaign operations.
According to financial disclosures, the Democrat gifted $3.5 million to the MDP and returned $250,000 back to attorney Mark Bernstein.
“It’s almost as if weren’t for shady ethics, this governor would have no ethics at all. She has continued to raise funds above established contribution limits, citing the threat of imaginary recall efforts that never seem to materialize. This money should be returned to donors,” said Runestad.
“I have already introduced legislation to protect against this kind of blatant disregard for campaign finance limits. We must bring this bill up immediately to put a stop to the governor’s unorthodox fundraising — and any future candidate who will seek to exploit this campaign finance loophole.”
Previously, he introduced a bill to close the loophole that allowed Whitmer to rake in millions of dollars through questionable donations.
Senate Bill 788 would require a leader under threat of a recall to place money raised for the recall effort into a separate, specified account. Additionally, the candidate would be forced to return donations not spent by the committee during the campaign.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Sen. Jim Runestad” by Senator Jim Runestad. Background Photo “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer.