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Issues Ads Legislation headed for Governor's Desk

Dec 12, 2013

Bill doubling campaign contributions, shielding issue ad donors goes to Gov. Snyder

By Jake Neher

People who pay for so-called “issue ads” would be able to stay anonymous under a bill that has cleared the state Legislature. It would also double the amount of money people can give to campaigns and political action committees (PACs).

The state Senate gave SB661 final legislative approval Thursday.

It would also block Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s proposal that would require issue ads to disclose their donors.

Democrats slammed the Senate’s Republican majority for approving the legislation.

“I think people are really disguised with the influence of money in politics,” said Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren). “And I think we need to have both more transparency in politics and political campaigns and we should be more careful as to opening the spigots like this bill does.”

Supporters of the measure say it’s meant to protect free speech. They say Michigan has not raised limits on campaign donations for decades.

The bill now goes to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk.