House Dems: Clean Up Campaign Finance System

Legislators aim to increase transparency in our elections
Monday, November 9, 2015
State Representatives Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) held a press conference today to introduce a new package of bills aimed at reforming campaign finance issues in Michigan. The six-bill package seeks to address problems ranging from striking ‘dark money’ from elections to the way fees for late campaign filings are administered and lowering contribution limits.

LANSING — State Representatives Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) held a press conference today to introduce a new package of bills aimed at reforming campaign finance issues in Michigan. The six-bill package seeks to address problems ranging from striking ‘dark money’ from elections to the way fees for late campaign filings are administered and lowering contribution limits.

"In a world where invisible backers, with unlimited resources, can fund candidates without disclosing who they are, there is no democracy,” said Rep. Hoadley. "That is not a government of the people, by the people and for the people that is a government of special interests, for special interests.  Our plan takes this problem head on by requiring disclosure of secret donors, more reporting to the public and tough new penalties for politicians that fail to comply.”

The bills would provide transparency and accountability by:

  • Requiring super PACs to disclose information of donors.
  • Lowering contribution limits back to pre-2013 levels.
  • Requiring all late filing fees to be paid by the candidate, not through committee funds.
  • Requiring monthly campaign finance reports.
  • Doubling all penalties for late filing by elected officials.
  • Establishing uniform campaign finance reporting dates for all committees.

“It’s time for true openness in this process, not some wealthy special interest’s idea of transparency,” said Rep. Guerra. “This cycle, which puts the needs of the majority at the mercy of the will of a rich minority, ends today. My bill, along with Rep. Hoadley’s and those coming from the Senate, will close the loopholes which have allowed this system to be manipulated in the first place.”