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Clean MI Govt; Prevailing Wage Repeal; Pot Legalization Raise $1M+

February 6, 2018

Three Michigan ballot committees have gathered more than $1 million in support based on today’s campaign finance filings with another committee on the verge of hitting the $1 million milestone

The amount raised isn’t necessarily a harbinger for success, however. The Clean Michigan Government drive to create a part-time Legislature has raised more than $1 million, but only has $10,000 in the bank and is shedding signatures every day that goes by. 

Meanwhile, the earned sick time ballot committee is nearing $1 million raised and has more than $250,000 in hits back pocket. 

Combined the ballot proposals attracted more than $7 million in contributions in 2017, according to new campaign finance disclosures. 

Some of the committees pushing the proposals have gotten the majority of their money from nonprofit organizations that don’t disclose the sources of their revenue.  

The following is a rundown of where the groups’ finances stand and where the money has been coming from: 

Clean MI (Part-Time Legislature) 
– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $423,475
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $1.66 million  

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $506,994
– Amount Spent So Far: $1.22 million  

– Balance: $10,516 

– Follow The Money: The majority of the money Clean MI has raised has come from a Lansing-based nonprofit organization, Fund for Michigan Jobs, which doesn’t disclose its donors. The organization has given $951,000 to the campaign so far. MI PAC, a PAC formerly connected to Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, has made $301,224 in in-kind contributions. Capital Sales Company, of Hazel Park, has given $100,000, as has businessman William Parfet.  

Protecting Michigan Taxpayers (Pro-Prevailing Wage Repeal)
– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $56,192
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $1.42 million  

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $143,058
– Amount Spent So Far: $1.34 million  

– Balance: $41,533 

– Follow The Money: The Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan continue to drive the campaign to repeal the state’s prevailing wage, which sets wage standards for certain publicly funded construction projects. The organization, which represents the commercial construction industry, has given $1.2 million to support of the campaign.  

Protecting Michigan Jobs hopes the Legislature will approve its language without the proposal having to be put on the ballot in November. 

Coalition To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Marijuana Legalization)  

– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $54,802
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $1.35 million 

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $47,754
– Amount Spent So Far: $648,389

– Balance: $3,346

– Follow The Money:  The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project continues to provide heavy support for the coalition that wants to legalize marijuana in Michigan. The project has provided $174,205 in support. The project’s foundation has provided $188,807 in support. Smokers Outlet, based in Troy, has contributed $250,000. 

MI Time To Care (Earned Sick Leave) 

– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $470,806
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $985,125

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $318,853
– Amount Spent So Far: $543,485

– Balance: $256,524

– Follow The Money: The campaign to bring an earned sick leave policy has raised nearly $1 million in support. Its heaviest backers have been two Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organizations: Sixteen Thirty Fund and The Fairness Project. The Sixteen Thirty Fund says it “helps donors and social entrepreneurs advocate for change on the issues most important to them.” It has given the ballot campaign $530,717 in support. The Fairness Project says it promotes “general social welfare of community through the use of education around ballot measures.” It has given the ballot campaign $206,500 in support. 

Voters Not Politicians (Seeking Redistricting Commission) 

– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $254,409
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $674,260

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $156,760
– Amount Spent So Far: $280,275

– Balance: $247,489

– Follow The Money: Before October 2017, Voters Not Politicians hadn’t had an individual donor give a financial contribution of more than $15,000. On Oct. 28, however, the group reported receiving $150,000 from an East Lansing-based nonprofit called Beckwith Constitutional Liberties Fund. According to a filing with the state, the fund’s purpose is to maintain, protect and advance for “all persons the provisions of the Bill of Rights and other civil rights and liberties.” The organization has previously given grants to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan. 

Of all the active ballot proposals, Voters Not Politicians has had the most individual donors, having receiving more than 7,000 individual contributions as of Dec. 31, 2017. 

Michigan One Fair Wage (Minimum Wage Proposal) 

– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $111,200 
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $694,422

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $259,049
– Amount Spent So Far: $260,295

– Balance: $361,504

– Follow The Money: Another ballot proposal committee, Raise Michigan, has provided $297,648 in funding for the campaign. The Restaurant Opportunities Center, which advocates for restaurant workers, has also been helping fund the campaign. Various groups connected to the center have provided $272,775 in support for the campaign. 

Protect Michigan Jobs (Anti-Prevailing Wage Repeal)

– Amount Raised Last Quarter (direct and in-kind): $193,247
– Amount Raised So Far (direct and in-kind): $433,711

– Amount Spent Last Quarter: $224,056
– Amount Spent So Far: $338,928

– Balance: $11,345

– Follow The Money: The Michigan Building and Construction Trades has been the top donor behind the campaign to keep the prevailing wage in law. The group gave $167,250 to the effort in 2017. The Mid Michigan Electrical Alliance provided $59,650 in support in 2017. 

Other Notes: 

– Promote The Vote, a ballot campaign to expand voting rights in Michigan, launched at the end of October. The group didn’t report any financial contributions in its first campaign finance disclosure, but did report $30,058 in in-kind contributions. Of that total, $29,408 came from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. 

– Healthy and Productive Michigan, a campaign to oppose marijuana legalization, launched in November. It reported receiving $150,000 on Dec. 26 from Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, a nonprofit organization based in Virginia. 

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