‘It Will Send A Message’: Some Of The First State Senate Ads Of 2018 Are Funded By Secret Donors

From: Conservative Voices Newsletter Aug. 6, 2018

 Eric Doster, a long-time campaign-finance and election attorney and former legal counsel to the Michigan Republican State Committee is working for both “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” and “Faithful  Conservatives”,according to filings. Both groups have used his law office’s addresses as their addresses on public documents. But Doster wouldn’t say much about the groups.

It is noted, the same building houses Richard D. McLellan, listed as owner of Africa Energy Counselors. McClellan was a transition chief for both Governor’s Engler and Snyder, helping staff their administrations. He was behind a purge of conservative precinct delegates, including mailings and lawn signs for the precinct delegate candidates, some attacking conservative incumbents…

State Lawmakers allege Utility Companies are using non-disclosing groups to help the Lawmakers’ Campaign Opponents.

Rep. Tom Barrett, a Republican from Potterville, is running against Roberts in the 24th Senate District.

Rep. Gary Glenn, a Republican from Williams Township, is running against Daley in the 31st Senate District.

Both Barrett and Glenn have also advocated for changes to state energy laws that the state’s dominant utility companies have opposed, including opening up a larger portion of the state’s market for competition from alternative suppliers

One of Michigan’s major utilities, Consumers Energy, has previously been tied to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy. In February 2014, a Consumers Energy spokesman told MLive that at the time, Consumers had used shareholder dollars to support the group, according to an article. At that point, the nonprofit was airing TV ads about issues before the Legislature. Both Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy and Faithful Conservatives are social welfare organizations that fall under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

According to public documents, a group of CMS Energy shareholders pushed for a vote earlier this month on whether the company should more fully disclose information on its corporate political spending. CMS Energy’s Board of Directors opposed the proposal, and it failed. Matt Kasper of the Energy & Policy Institute first reported on the vote.

A spokeswoman for Michigan’s other top electric utility, DTE Energy, provided a similar response to the one from Consumers.
“As an energy company, we are affected each day by the decisions of federal, state and local officials,” said Carly Getz, DTE’s senior strategist for corporate communications. “This requires DTE Energy to be an active participant in the political
process.”

Rep. Tom Barrett allege utilities want “to get a scalp” and “hang it on the wall.”

If you aren’t willing to go with what they want, then they are willing to spend what it takes to defeat you,” Barrett said. He continued, “It will send a message to people: ‘Look what happened to Tom Barrett.'”  MORE

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