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Campaign donations to Michigan PACs soared in 2016 presidential election cycle

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s top 150 Political Action Committees raised a record amount during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network crunched the numbers and found Michigan’s largest PAC’s raised more than $48 million in 2015 and 2016. That's an increase of seven million dollars over the previous record set in the 2008 presidential election.

Executive director Craig Mauger says that well outpaced the rate of inflation.

“Someone emailed me, who’s in politics, and said, this is really an arms race,” says Mauger. “As one PAC raises more, other PACs feel like they have to raise more.  The partisan PACs have to compete with each other, as one raises more, spends more, the other feels like they have to raise and spend more.”

Mauger says the Citizens United Supreme Court decision spurred the creation of Super PACs in Michigan, which helped fuel the fundraising jump.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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