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Michigan Campaign Finance Network

Why Michigan citizens should care about money in judicial politics

Rich Robinson is executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a non-profit, non-partisan campaign finance watchdog group in Lansing. Here are his thoughts about judges who contribute big bucks to political campaigns and the role big money plays in judicial elections. […]

Read David Ashenfelter's article

Center for Michigan arms voters with info for Election 2012

This election is unlike any in my memory – that goes back a long way, since I’m 74. In addition to candidates for the state House of Representatives, justices of the state Supreme Court and various other local issues, there are six […]

Read Phil Power's column

Land O Links

“Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind” — Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th century German philosopher. * “Stray dogs and beloved pets alike leave behind […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Guest column: IRS lets ‘social welfare’ nonprofits pour big bucks into politics

By Rich Robinson/Michigan Campaign Finance Network ProPublica (“How nonprofits spend millions on elections and call it public welfare“) recently detailed how the federal tax code is exploited to conceal the identities of the biggest spenders in Campaign 2012. Today’s political social welfare […]

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Mysterious outside group earns foul in Genesee Co. primary from Truth Squad

Who: Michigan Liberty Project, 48th House District Democratic primary What: Mailings of “How Much Cash Is Too Much?”  and “What Do You Call Politicians That Promote Public Schools for Your Children But Private Schools for Theirs?” Truth Squad call: Foul The ads […]

Read Bridge Magazine's article

Special-interest money floods ballot-measure efforts

Voters could see as many as seven proposals to amend the Michigan Constitution or state law on this November’s ballot – or none at all. Bureaucratic and legal reviews continue of the various proposals. Regardless of how they play out, though, Michigan […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Show (yourself) the money!

The good news: It’s an election year. Michigan voters get to pass judgment on filling 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives, plus some seats on the state Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the State Board of Education, Michigan […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Michigan campaign finance rules weak; reform prospects unclear

There are limits to the amount of money you can donate to the candidate of your choice in Michigan. But, as with other elements of Michigan’s lobbying and ethics rules, the state’s campaign finance limits are somewhat loose. Under current law, an […]

Read Chris Gautz's article

Five decisions for a more ethical state government

By Phil Power and Derek Melot/Bridge Magazine  Time and again – not least in the recent Republican presidential primary election – we hear of the countless ways money has infested and debased our political system.  And in countless community conversations held by […]

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Dollars many; delegates few

CFM Chairman Phil Power was riffing today in his weekly column about the growing role of big-bucks contributors on the campaign process. The boss is not going to like the latest news out of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network: “First quarter television […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Land O Links

“Knowledge … shall always bear witness like a clarion to its creator” — Leonardo Da Vinci. * The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports a record year for lobbyist spending inLansingin 2011. The $35.3 million spent is more than the state general fund […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Big bucks silence views of ordinary folks

Surprise! Would you believe that … political systems are stacked in favor of those with money? That’s probably been true since the days of the pharaohs, if not before. But these days, two things make the normal much worse in our country: […]

Read Phil Power's column

Guest post: Mich.’s campaign disclosure rules stink

By Rich Robinson/Michigan Campaign Finance Network It was welcome news when Gov. Rick Snyder announced, during his 2012 State of the State address, that he believes Michigan needs campaign finance, lobbying and ethics reforms. It has been a long time since a […]

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Analysis: A slap in the face by the invisible hand

By Rich Robinson On one level, the vote by the Senate Economic Development Committee to defer to another day the proposed new public-private bridge betweenDetroit andWindsor looks like the triumph of ideology over commerce. Fearless libertarians who have had enough of taxation faced […]

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Is reform of liquor rules already in trouble?

Gov. Rick Snyder and his team are eying Michigan’s antiquated liquor control regulations. The governor appointed an advisory panel to study streamlining regulations to make them more business-friendly. He appointed a new head of the Liquor Control Commission from the Michigan Restaurant […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Land O Links

“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain” — Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., two-time Democratic presidential […]

Read Derek Melot's article

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