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Dark money bill moves in state House

Brian Charles Watson

Legislation that would shield the identities of non-profit donors, including those to political advocacy groups, is a procedural move away from the governor’s desk.

The bill was passed by the state House Tuesday. It would make it a misdemeanor for a public official to require non-profits to disclose their donor list for government review.   

Craig Mauger is the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.   He suspects business interests were behind the legislation.

“That’s one possible answer that there are a bunch of businesses who are trying to influence elections who don’t want people to know that they’re influencing elections because they want you to keep shopping at their store.   And they don’t want you to send them an angry letter that says I’m upset that you’re doing this.”

The bill’s senate sponsor says it favors the constitutional right of Freedom of Speech and the legal right of association over questions of transparency.