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Checking the Funding Behind Michigan Proposals 

The following information is from http://FollowTheMoney.org. In looking at the information on the nation-wide website there appears to some confusion as to the facts. Perhaps updates from the data sources and website updates haven’t been coming in fluidly.

Examples of Confusing Data

  • Proposal 1 - Pro position supported by Stand Up For Democracy (who fought to get the referendum on the ballot, but the wording on the ballot is switched such that a YES vote would be a public ratification and clearly NOT what this group intended. This proposal is also regarding the Emergency Manager Law (Public Act 4), not the Emergency Financial Manager Law (Public Act 72, which was repealed in 2011).
    Note: According to Michigan Compiled Law 8.4 - should this referendum fail Public Act 72 would not be enabled as it was repealed to permit PA4 to pass. This should hold up in a court of law that PA72 is no longer in effect.
  • Proposal 5 - Funding from a Maroun family business associate put $3.5 million into PRO position funding according to this article in Mlive.
  • Proposal 6 - Local press in Detroit has claimed the Maroun family has invested $31 million on the campaign. 
One thing that is missing is tracking public funds expended by our government officials as they are campaigning for the proposals. What about the travel expenses, honorariums, hotel stays, etc. ? What percentage of time is spent speaking out on the issues versus listening to constituents and sorting through their beliefs? Governor Snyder has made the remark that the public in local governments have complained saying they no longer have elected officials representing them. His remark is that he is an elected official, so this is not true. In reply to that we have to ask the Governor if he’s read the duties of the State Governor versus that of local government through the Home Rule Charter.

PROPOSAL FUNDING per the site FOLLOWTHEMONEY.ORG


PROPOSAL 12-1: Referenda for Emergency Financial Manager Law
This proposal would repeal the emergency financial manager law.
PRO: $469,711 | CON: $29,000


PROPOSAL 12-2: Establishing Right to Collective Bargaining
This amendment would create a new right to collective bargaining.
PRO: $8,243,307 | CON: $629,386 


PROPOSAL 12-3: Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources This amendment would require utilities to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.
PRO: $2,690,691 | CON: $6,489,176 


PROPOSAL 12-4: Increased Oversight and Regulation of Home Health Care
This proposal would establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, provide certain information to consumers, require training of providers, and provide limited collective bargaining rights.
PRO: $1,888,490 | CON: -


PROPOSAL 12-5: Requiring a Two-Thirds Legislative Vote for Tax Increases
This proposal would prohibit state government from imposing new taxes, expanding the base of taxation, or increasing the rate of taxation, unless there is a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature, or there is a statewide vote of Michigan electors.
PRO: $2,289,721 | CON: $105,001   


PROPOSAL 12-6: Requiring Voter Approval for International Bridge or Tunnel Construction
This proposal would prohibit state government from imposing new taxes, expanding the base of taxation, or increasing the rate of taxation, unless there is a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature, or there is a statewide vote of Michigan electors.
PRO: $4,757,500 | CON: $0  


NOTE: Totals in the table above reflect only how much money was raised by each committee, not necessarily how much was spent in support or opposition of this ballot measure.

Summary of Data Sources 

The Institute currently receives its Michigan data from the Michigan Department of State. The Institute obtains an electronic database from the state and supplements it with reports that are filed only on paper.

After the Institute receives the contribution information and puts it into a database, staff members verify that all candidates are represented in the database and that their political party affiliations and their win/loss statuses are correct. Researchers then standardize the contributor names and assign political donors an economic interest code, based either on the occupation and employer information contained on the disclosure reports or on information found through a variety of research resources. These codes are closely modeled on the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission system.

This unique database can be searched for multi-state and national trends, allowing ordinary citizens and professional researchers to “follow the money” behind key issues and from key contributors across state lines.