Michigan’s lobbyists have given $3.7 million to politicians at the state level since 2012.
That’s the total calculated by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
Craig Mauger is its executive director. He says most of the money was given after an elected official took office, not during the campaign. And the highest amounts went to the people in the most powerful positions.
"These lobbyists are representing interests," Mauger says. "They are, in some cases, employees of a business. And they want to see it succeed just like the CEO wants to see it succeed.
Mauger says the majority of states in the U.S. place some limits on financial contributions by registered lobbyists. He says Michigan doesn’t have such restrictions.
"Lobbyists’ ability to give gifts to lawmakers are restricted to a certain extent," he says. "But in that section of the law it says specifically that campaign contributions are not gifts."
See the Michigan Campaign Finance Network's analysis here.