July 27, 2021
July 27, 2021
Lansing, Mich., July 27, 2021 – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her allies repeatedly spoke out against “big money” in politics, yet Whitmer’s recent campaign finance filing shows her not just backtracking her prior position. The Detroit Free Press reports:
“Invoking the 1984 declaratory ruling by former Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin, combined with her high national profile, has resulted in five-figure and in some cases six-figure donations to Whitmer’s campaign from well-known national figures in the TV and movie industries, technology, and philanthropy, campaign finance records filed Monday show.”
As a State Senator in 2013, Whitmer attempted to amend a bill to reduce the amount of money individuals could give to political campaigns in Michigan, and spoke out against these types of big money contributions. MLive reports:
“Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, spoke out against the increased campaign contribution limits, suggesting it was a proposal that no one had asked for outside of Lansing.
‘In my 13 years here in the Michigan Legislature, no one has ever said there is too little money in campaigns,’ Whitmer said. ‘…I would submit that very few people on planet earth think that we need more money in our political system.’”
As a candidate for Governor, Whitmer’s allies reaffirmed her past commitment to limiting “big money” contributions, with Senator Bernie Sanders’ specifically citing it during his endorsement. MLive reports:
“‘Too often, Michigan’s working families have been left behind by the political elite. That’s why Gretchen will work to get big money out of politics…’”
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Whitmer’s 2018 democratic primary opponent, weighed in on her campaign finance filing this morning:
Other leading Democrats have spent the last 4 years railing against these kind of large campaign contributions, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who wrote in Medium:
“I’ve Already Said That I Will Run My Campaign Differently — No Washington Lobbyist Money, No PAC Money, No Auditioning Billionaires To Run A Super PAC For Me, And No Dark-Money Groups Devoted To Supporting This Campaign.”
It’s unclear whether or not Whitmer will face any backlash from her supporters from her flip-flopping on such an important issue.
“Governor Whitmer has demonstrated yet again that her hypocrisy knows no bounds. She spent years lying to Michiganders about her stance on campaign contribution limits, and now seeks to exploit a flimsy interpretation of campaign finance laws to avoid contribution limits,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “Whitmer’s refusal to follow the same rules that are imposed on everyone else has become a predictable routine, but the people of Michigan have caught on and her abuse of campaign finance laws will not go unnoticed.”