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WXYZ Editorial: Michigan Campaign Finance Reform Law lacks transparency!
6:29 PM, Jan 9, 2014
1:00 PM, Jan 10, 2014
WXYZ Detroit - Governor Rick Snyder should have vetoed a recent campaign finance reform bill that came to his desk. By not doing so, he backtracked on a position he took as a gubernatorial candidate and missed an opportunity to create complete transparency in campaign funding.
On the good side, the bills will require the disclosure of sponsors of annoying automated calls. They will also force officeholders to file more campaign finance reports. But those are minor improvements compared to what the new bill will really do! It doubles the limit on individual contributions and keeps secret the names of donors who pay for third-party issue ads for both Republicans and Democrats. This is NOT transparency! These ads are supposed to target broad issues. But in truth, many of them use the cover of advocacy to attack specific candidates with very clever language.
Governor Snyder should have stood side-by-side with Secretary of State and fellow Republican Ruth Johnson. She was planning to propose a new rule to require issue ad disclosure. To our disappointment, Snyder sided with the GOP-controlled legislature and special interests groups. They falsely argued that to do otherwise would limit free-speech and campaign donations.
This bill does little to get at the root of the problem. It only protects millions of dollars of soft-money and prevents FULL campaign funding transparency! That was the problem with the NERD Fund the Governor agreed to disband.
Open and honest government begins with FULL transparency and promises kept by those who hold public office. Governor, Michigan has moved forward on many fronts and FULL campaign funding transparency should be a part of "relentless positive action!"