State senate bill protects 'dark money,' stirs debate
Last Thursday, Senate Republicans rushed through a bill that would alter campaign finance rules in Michigan. The changes include doubling the limits nearly across the board on campaign contributions.
The bill also seeks to ensure that “dark money” remains “dark,” as it will allow financial backers of so-called “issue ads” to remain anonymous. The effort stymies an attempt by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to require disclosure of who pays for these issue ads.
Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and Gideon Dassandro, communications director for the Michigan Freedom Fund, join Current State to discuss the legislation.
Robinson says the legislation isn't mean to preclude free speech, but Dassandro counters that issue ads differ from campaign ads in that they don't benefit any particular candidate.