Snyder Signs Bill To Allow Bigger Political Donations; Preempt Issue Ad Disclosure

Dec 27, 2013

Governor Rick Snyder has reversed his three-year-old campaign pledge, and preempted an effort to force public disclosure of the people who pay for so-called “issue ads” that are often thinly disguised political campaign ads.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

Issue ads are the ones that say “call” or “contact” someone without expressly advocating how people should vote. Governor Snyder promised in a white paper during his campaign to require the names of the people paying for issue ads to be disclosed. But This new law effectively blocks an effort by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to do just that. Some conservative groups say outlawing anonymous ads is a violation of free speech rights.

In a statement, the governor says the measure creates more transparency because it would require political robo-calls to include a committee name that’s paying for it. It does not require that the committee behind a robo-call disclose its donors. The new law also doubles the amount of money that people can give to political committees.