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February 28, 2024

Campaign Finance Roundup

Campaign Finance Roundup: February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024
Published By American Promise
Another installment in our series of stories about how our elections are being bought out from under us and all that matters is fundraising and the donor class.

Major Florida GOP Donors Stand to Make Windfall Profits If Recreational Cannabis Is Legalized

From The Intercept: 
Florida Republicans appear to be coming around to the side of marijuana legalization in the state. What changed? Did they encounter new research or other evidence that changed their mind? No, their donors just realized they could make a lot of money off of it. Company officials for Truelive, a medical marijuana company in Florida, have given over $41 million to both Republicans and Democrats in Florida since 2017. Let that be a lesson: If you want to change the world, find a way for a large corporation to profit off of it and you’ll get what you want.

Political funds flow to Michigan lawmaker who secured $18M earmark

From Bridge Michigan: 
A Michigan lawmaker, Rep. Will Snyder, (D-Muskegon) helped secure an $18 million earmark to benefit a for-profit housing development. Last year, his campaign and PAC received $15,000 from Parkland Properties, the private developer that received the $18 million grant. 

To be fair, Snyder insists that he was not promised any donations in exchange for the earmark, and that may be true. Honestly, if it was a quid pro quo, he should’ve asked for more. We feature stories of lawmakers receiving political donations and then turning around and providing funds to benefit their donors all the time, and they can usually do better than a 0.08% return.

Should public utility companies be able to donate to Virginia political campaigns

From WTKR:
Today in “how is that not already illegal,” Virginia lawmakers are debating a bill that would make it illegal for public utility companies to donate to political campaigns in the state. These companies are monopolies with no private competition, meaning that the government is the only check on their ability to really screw over customers. So naturally they’re completely opposed to no longer being able to donate millions of dollars to influence the legislature.

President Joe Biden visits New York City for campaign receptions 

From CBS News:
What’s more important: being able to get home from work, or the President raising a bunch of money? If you answered “going home,” you’re apparently incorrect. A few weeks ago, President Biden visited New York city for a fundraiser, causing the NYPD to shut down major roads and block traffic for hours. It got to the point that city buses were dropping people off in the middle of Central Park, and many people had to walk home in the middle of February. But hey, Biden probably raised a bunch of money!

Schumer-aligned group that meddled in GOP primary hit with complaint alleging FEC violations

From Fox News:
Last Best Place PAC, a group funded by the Chuck Schumer-aligned dark money group Majority Forward, has been hit with an FEC complaint. According to the complaint, after spending $2.1 million on media and ad buys in Montana in an attempt to interfere with the Republican Senate primary, the group has thus far failed to file legally required independent expenditure reports with the FEC. This is part of a long-running strategy by Democrats (who apparently have too much money to spend on just their own candidates) of meddling with Republican primaries to attack candidates they think will be more difficult opponents in the general election.

Democratic PAC loses appeal of massive fines for not timely reporting campaign spending

From the Chicago Tribune:
All for Justice, a PAC backed by Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, was fined $108,500 last year after it spent more than $7.3 million to help elect two Democrats to the IL Supreme Court and failed to file proper reports on its spending in a timely manner. This month, the State Board of Elections rejected a request by the PAC to lower the fines. Last year, all of the PAC’s remaining money had been transferred out of its account and into another PAC at the same legal address, which seems like the legal equivalent of trying to trick a dog by hiding their ball in your other hand.

Nessel levels charges against two GOP political fundraisers in campaign against Whitmer

From The Detroit News: 
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced charges against two Republican fundraisers for an alleged attempt to hide the donors to a campaign to reduce the Governor’s emergency powers during the pandemic. The two led fundraising efforts for the controversial Unlock Michigan ballot initiative, but instructed donors to funnel money through nonprofits first, disguising the identity of the donors. This is how “dark money” groups function in elections nationwide, but usually they have to at least pretend to have a function besides evading campaign finance requirements.

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