MICHIGAN | MI-gov

Thanedar, Hines Bust Spending Caps

The remaining candidates can qualify for public financing without limiting expenditures.

Zach C. Cohen
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Zach C. Cohen
July 31, 2017, 10:10 a.m.

“Under an obscure part of the state’s campaign finance law, when a gubernatorial candidate self-finances his or her campaign — by putting in at least $340,000 of their own money into the race — the candidate no longer qualifies for public funding of the race from the state.

“But their opponents who qualify for public financing won’t be bound by a $2-million cap on spending that would normally be in place if” businessman Shri Thanedar (D) and Jim Hines (R) “weren’t putting up so much of their personal fortune for the race. The other candidates in the race still can qualify for public funding of up to $990,000 in the primary election and $1,125,000 in the general election. And, while accepting public financing normally would mean they could spend no more than $2 million for the primary or the general, the $3.3 million in cash from Thanedar … and $388,000 from Hines … means a $2-million limit no longer applies.”

“To qualify for the public financing, a candidate must raise at least $75,000 and not contribute more than $50,000 of his or her own money to their campaign. For every campaign contribution from Michigan residents, the state will make a 2-1 match for the first $100 contribution from state residents. … So far, only” former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former Detroit Health Director Abdul El-Sayed (D) “have raised enough money to qualify for public financing. … But several more announced candidates are expected to reach that threshold before they can apply for public financing on Jan. 1.” (Detroit Free Press)

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