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Pro-dem message with scant disclosure showing up in key house races

November 7, 2016

A week after a shadowy 527 was spotted conducting robocalls and fliers to support Republican House candidates in various districts, some mysterious campaign activity supporting Democratic candidates has been reported.  

First, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) reported Monday that two mailers supporting Libertarian candidates in two key House districts were sent from of a Detroit mail house without the required disclosure. 

The two candidates told MCFN they had no idea where the flier in the 91st and 61st District came from. The flier in the 91st, which features incumbent Rep. Holly Hughes (R-Montague) and Democrat Collene LaMonte state, “Republicans have abandoned us. Libertarian Max Rieski believes in cutting wasteful spending and protecting our conservative values.” 

The one in the Kalamazoo County-based 61st District reads, “Brandt Iden isn’t a true conservative. He’s just another tax-spend politician. Libertarian Ryan Winfield believes in cutting spending, not wasting it on luxury offices for politicians.” 

Iden is in a tight battle with John Fisher. The incumbent Republican is under attack by Democrats for not doing enough to stop the former Senate Majority Leader from dedicating $134 million in future state money for new Senate offices at the Capitol View Building in downtown Lansing. 

So for a flier Winfield claims he had nothing to do with to mention the Capitol View Building project is suspicious. 

“Democrats know they can’t win with their ideas, so they are trying to lie, cheat and steal to win conservative ideas,” said House Republican Campaign Chair Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) to MCFN. “Democrats are in desperation mode, and they are willing to do absolutely anything to win, even lying to voters and undermining the election.” 

In other news, mass text messages were sent to cell phone users in the Eaton County-based 71st House District, where Rep. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) is seeking re-election against Theresa Abed. 

“Did you know House Candidate Tom Barrett says he’s bipartisan but votes with GOP 92% of the time? Text YES to learn more about Tom’s record,” the text reads. 

Texting “Yes,” gets recipients a voice message from an “Elizabeth” at a non-existent Michigan company called WC Research who says, “Theresa Abed has dedicated her life to public service. First as a social worker and later in the state House, where she gained the reputation of getting things done. Her opponent, Tom Barrett, refuses to reach across the aisle and has spent his career voting with Rick Snyder and Republicans 92 percent of the time. 

“Tom will do anything his special interest donors say, including voting for the wasteful $134 million Capitol View project.” 

The messages have no real disclosure as to whom paid for them. 

“I’m not surprised that my opponent or her supporters are desperate enough to send messages without disclosure,” Barrett said. 

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