MICHIGAN | MI-11 | MI-sen | MI-gov

Calley Accidentally Files Other Candidates’ Signatures

Three PACs supporting him are outspending another backing Bill Schuette.

April 23, 2018, 10:58 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) “inadvertently turned in dozens of nominating petitions for other candidates in unrelated races as part of his bid to qualify for the August primary ballot. … [A]t least 47 sheets contained signatures for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sandy Pensler and two petitions were for U.S. House hopeful Nancy Skinner, a Democrat. Michael Stroud, a consultant for Calley’s campaign who was involved in the petition process, attributed the accidentally filed petitions to a circulator who had collected signatures for a number of candidates.” Stroud: “It’s doesn’t impact the total count, and over 25,000 validated signatures for Brian Calley were properly filed.” (Detroit News)

DEEP DIVE. “So far, at least four PACs have appeared to make independent expenditures in the race for governor. Three have supported Calley or opposed Calley’s GOP primary opponent, [state] Attorney General Bill Schuette (R). The other PAC has been working to benefit Schuette.”

Footage of Calley and term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder (R) “inside the Jackson National Life building has made its way into TV advertisements being aired by multiple groups this spring. … That footage was filmed earlier this year, as confirmed by the PAC’s record keeper, Amanda Kornegay.”

“Less than eight months after … Snyder signed a bill establishing new standards for how closely candidates can work with ‘independent’ spenders looking to sway voters, multiple PACs with connections to Calley have bought ad time to boost his campaign. One of the PACs is Snyder’s own, the Relentless Positive Action PAC,” which “has spent more on broadcast TV ads in Michigan than any other PAC this year as of April 16, an estimated $236,000 total. … The PAC’s ads began airing on broadcast TV on March 23 … two days after Snyder formally endorsed Calley. The same day the ads debuted on broadcast TV … Tricia Kinley, external affairs director for Snyder, sent out an email inviting people to a March 28 fundraiser for Calley’s gubernatorial campaign. … While Snyder is helping Calley raise money for his campaign, he also appears to be using his PAC to help Calley independently. Some donors are giving to both the PAC and the candidate. … MCFN has tracked an estimated $298,000 in spending on broadcast and cable ads by that PAC.”

MIPAC “started airing ads on cable this week in support of Calley. … MIPAC has given $31,800 directly to Calley’s campaign for governor, and it’s made about $301,000 in in-kind contributions to support the part-time Legislature ballot proposal, which Calley was championing in 2017. … So far, MCFN has tracked an estimated $40,000 in cable ad orders from MIPAC. … [B]efore April 12, MIPAC’s treasurer was listed as … Stroud, who worked as an employee in the lieutenant governor’s office until November 2015. On April 12, the PAC officially changed its treasurer. The PAC’s ads began running about five days later on or about April 17. Stroud said in an email, that he actually resigned as the PAC’s treasurer on April 6. He also confirmed that he is an independent contractor for the Calley campaign. However, he said he had never communicated any information to the PAC regarding the Calley campaign.”

“The Fund for Michigan’s Tomorrows has aired or reserved an estimated $204,000 in broadcast ads and more on cable.”

“The PACs will have to file campaign finance disclosures on April 25.” (Michigan Campaign Finance Network)

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