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Study: Police unions contributed $1.4 million to Michigan politicians and PACs since 2010

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new study finds police unions have made more than $1 million in political contributions to Michigan politicians and political action committees during the past decade.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) says 112 of the 147 current Michigan legislators have received donations from a police union in the last 10 years.

In all, MCFN counted more than $1.4 million in contributions from police unions to individual politicians and political action committees since 2010.   

The amount of money is actually small compared with other union spending in Michigan.    

During the same period, the MCFN found the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees contributed about $2.2 million and the United Auto Workers contributed about $11.3 million to political campaigns since 2010.

Simon Schuster is the organization's executive director. He says police unions don’t spend as much money on campaign contributions as other unions.

“They don’t seem to make targeted endorsements...looking to help politicians win specific races,” says Schuster. “Their contributions are generally much more broad and less well defined.”

Schuster says police unions appear to spread their contributions among Republicans and Democrats.

Last month, a state House resolution against “defunding police” departments passed with bi-partisan support.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.