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Politics & Government

New law brought extra $6.3 million to state campaign coffers in 2014

$100 bill
Vladimir Solomyani
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A non-profit watchdog group says the person who signed a new law doubling campaign contributions was the one who ended up benefiting the most.

In December, 2013, Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that doubles the amount an individual can donate to a statewide election from $3,400 to $6,800.  The law also doubles the amount a political action committee can donate from $34,000 to $68,000.

The change brought the governor an additional $2.1 million for his 2014 campaign against Democrat Mark Schauer. Snyder collected contributions above the old limits from about 685 donors, many of them high-ranking executives in business, according to Craig Mawger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Schauer, on the other hand, received $839,822 above the old limits. Schauer had about 221 donors who surpassed the previous limits. Mauger says Schauer benefited especially from larger donations from union PACs like the Michigan Education Association and United Auto Workers.

Mauger says every election cycle, it becomes more expensive to run a successful campaign. 

"And the more money that flows into our system," says Mauger, "it seems the more likely it is that that money is going to influence the decisions that are made."

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