Public funds shortfall may hurt MI gov candidates

LANSING, MI – Michigan gubernatorial candidates counting on public matching funds to boost their campaign spending are in for a bit of a shock.

Instead of getting up to $2 for every $1 they receive from small donors, candidates will get $.26 per dollar this year.

State lawmakers took $7.2 million from the State Campaign Fund to balance the fiscal 2007 budget. Now the fund has $2.1 million to divide among candidates.

The shortfall in funds before the August 3rd primary could seriously hurt candidates counting on the public dollars to boost their campaigns.

The money comes from a voluntary checkoff on state income tax forms. It lets taxpayers designate that $3 should go to the State Campaign Fund without affecting the amount they owe.