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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

Campaign spending breaks all records

A lot more money was spent in this election year than in past elections and much of that money at the national level and in Michigan was so-called ‘dark money.’

“Literally hundreds of millions not traceable to any donor in federal campaigns and certainly tens-of-millions in Michigan election campaigns," said Rich Robinson with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Robinson says not knowing who is giving money to Supreme Court candidates, or backing proposals, or influencing politicians is not good for a free and open democracy. He says it’s up to the people to decide whether they’ll do something about it such as an initiative that would require more transparency in Michigan.

Robinson also says the amount of money spent to get the six statewide proposals on the ballot and promoted by political ads broke all records in Michigan by a wide margin.

“It was somewhere around 146 – 147 million dollars. Just a tremendous amount of money was burned on these ballot questions,” Robinson said.

He says that amounts to more money spent on the proposals than on all the candidate and issue campaigns put together during the election two years ago in Michigan.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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