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Attorney General looking into spending by Senate GOP political funds

Michigan State Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons
Michigan State Capitol

The complaint alleges “Michigan! My Michigan!” and “Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility” were collecting nearly $2.5 million in donations that were then shared with the Unlock Michigan campaign without making required financial disclosures.

Secretary of State spokesperson Tracy Wimmer said election officials launched an initial investigation after that complaint was filed.

“And in this case the determination was made that, yes, there was likely a Campaign Finance Act violation,” Wimmer told Michigan Public Radio. “The department is statutorily obligated to attempt to settle that via a conciliatory agreement. In this case, the parties involved refused to participate in one.”

She said that could easily have settled the dispute.

The Michigan Senate’s top Republican, Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, told The Detroit News, he is the wrong target.

“Though I don’t own, manage or control this account, it is pretty clear from my seat this is 100 percent politically motivated,” he said. “Surprise!”

Republican election attorney Robert LaBrandt is one of the people who filed the complaint. He told Michigan Public Radio a criminal investigation changes the stakes and would allow investigators to trace donations.

“What the Attorney General has the power to do is subpoena the bank records of both these organizations, and I think they’ll find that they support the inferences that the Department of State made,” he said.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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