How expensive are Michigan’s political campaigns?
There are reforms government officials can consider that would ensure complete and transparent financial disclosures from political campaigns, says a statewide reporter covering campaign finance.
Elections are getting more costly. In 2018, Michigan saw the most expensive election season ever. At least $324 million were spent on a variety of campaigns, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Nationally, the trend appears to be the same. From 1998 to 2018, midterm election spending grew by more than four billion dollars, according to OpenSecrets.org.
And this election year in Michigan doesn’t seem to be any different. Governor Gretchen Whitmer raised more than $9 million dollars in 2022 and has 15 million dollars in the bank. This is as candidates like state Rep. Shri Thanedar spend millions on their own campaigns.
“2018 was the most expensive state level election and then 2020 became the most expensive election in Michigan’s history immediately after,” — Simon Schuster, investigative reporter covering politics for MLive.
Listen: All of the dollars being funneled into the current primary election campaigns
Simon Schuster is an investigative reporter covering politics for MLive. He was previously the director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says that the money being funneled into elections has only increased over the last decade in state politics.
“2018 was the most expensive state level election and then 2020 became the most expensive election in Michigan’s history immediately after. And I’d say it’s pretty reasonable to estimate that we’re on track for another record-spending election, provided we can make up the 150 or so million dollars that was spent in Michigan on the presidential election in 2020.”
Update: A previous iteration of this web post misstated paraphrasing from the guest. This post has been updated to reflect the true nature of such paraphrasing. We apologize for the error.
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