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Snyder signs bill to allow bigger political donations; preempt issue ad disclosure

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Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that outlaws efforts to require disclosure of the donors behind so-called “issue ads.” It appears to be a reversal of one of his campaign pledges.  

The governor came out against anonymous issue ads in a 2010 campaign white paper. Issue ads tell people to “call” or “contact” a politician without expressly advocating for how they should vote.

In a just-published op-ed piece, the governor says he agrees now that anonymous speech on the airwaves should be protected.

But the governor also says the new law advances the cause of transparency because it will require a committee name to be attached to political robo-calls.

But the law has no requirements to disclose the people behind those committees. It also increases the maximum contributions that donors can make to political committees.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.