Interest groups are spending unprecedented amounts of money on TV ads supporting or opposing initiatives to amend the state constitution. That’s according to a report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
Since August, groups have poured about $30 million into TV ads. That’s far more than what’s being spent on individual candidates, including those running for president or U.S. Senate.
Supporters and opponents of a proposal to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution have spent the most money. Ads for and against Proposal Two have cost a total of about $13 million.
Report author Rich Robinson says unions have shifted their financial support away from individual politicians to try to get the initiative passed.
“I think the perceived threat to organized labor was such that they felt they had to do this,” he says.
Robinson says he expects more ads for state Supreme Court candidates to start running soon. But he says there’s little doubt 2012 will be remembered as “the year of the ballot initiatives.”