Oct 26, 2022
Progressives in Michigan on Wednesday accused GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, the Republican Governors Association, and the Get Michigan Working Again super PAC of violating multiple campaign finance laws.
"Desperation to save a floundering campaign has led to potential violations of campaign finance law and potential illegal coordination."
According to a complaint filed by Progress Michigan executive director Lonnie Scott, the Get Michigan Working Again (GMWA) super PAC is providing cover for the Republican Governors Association (RGA)--obscuring how the RGA is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to help the Trump-backed Dixon defeat incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
"GMWA has reported spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on independent expenditures [for ads] in the gubernatorial election on its... campaign finance reports," states the complaint. "However, RGA has reported to the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] that it--RGA--actually made those expenditures, not GMWA."
An excerpt from a chart in the complaint documents how GMWA is telling the Michigan public that it is bankrolling Dixon's campaign ads while the RGA is telling the IRS that it--not the super PAC--is really responsible for the expenditures.
According to Progress Michigan, this is a clear violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act because GMWA put its disclaimer on the ads when in fact the RGA--as the actual funder of the ads--should have done so.
In addition, the complaint alleges that because the RGA paid for the ads, the association's "expenditures are in fact in-kind contributions to Dixon which the RGA has failed to report, exceeded the contribution limits, and are illegal because those contributions/expenditures were funded with corporate funds in violation of [campaign finance law]."
"Similarly," the complaint continues, "Dixon has failed to report in-kind contributions from RGA in excess of the contribution limit which are also illegal because they were made with corporate funds."
In a statement, Scott said that "desperation to save a floundering campaign has led to potential violations of campaign finance law and potential illegal coordination."
"This shady shell game between the Republican Governors Association and Get Michigan Working Again super PAC is not only a major violation of Michigan campaign finance law, but also implicates Tudor Dixon and her campaign, which may have been illegally coordinating campaign activities," said Scott.
"Michigan's campaign finance laws," he continued, "are weak enough as it is without outside groups abusing the system."
"It's our hope that a thorough investigation is launched and all parties involved stop misleading Michigan voters," Scott added. "Given the dysfunction of Trump's Republican Party, I understand the RGA's desire to hide their identity through a much nicer sounding name, but doing so at the expense of the full public disclosure required by the campaign finance laws must have consequences."
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