Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is facing a complaint that alleges her campaign violated state law.
The story: The Michigan Freedom Fund, a non-profit organization that says it “fights to champion conservative policies on behalf of Michigan taxpayers,” filed a complaint against Whitmer’s reelection committee on Wednesday with Michigan’s Bureau of Elections.
The complaint alleges that Whitmer’s campaign violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act by accepting donations that exceed the limit set under the law. The group says that around 154 individual donors surpassed the $7,150 individual donor cap.
The group accuses Whitmer’s campaign of engaging in an “illegal scheme … to evade and eviscerate Michigan candidate contribution limits.”
Victoria Sachs, executive director of the MFF, also pushed back against claims that the same rules do not apply to recall elections.
“The Whitmer Campaign has admitted to these wholesale violations of the MCFA’s contribution limitations, but claims that there is an exception to contribution limits for officeholders facing a recall election,” the complaint reads.
“However, even if such an exception exists, there is no recall of Governor Whitmer currently being actively sought, a condition precedent to any claim to the potential contribution limit exception for recall elections. Whitmer’s illegal scheme is inconsistent with the text and purpose of the [Michigan Campaign Finance Act], absurd, unfair, and could not have been intended by the Legislature,” he wrote.
Sachs further argued that there is not an active effort to recall Whitmer.
“To actively seek a recall election, [a committee] must first get petition approval from the State Board of Canvassers then collect 1,062,647 signatures from registered voters within 60 days,” the group argued.
“Governor Whitmer’s scandal plagued Spring has led to sinking poll numbers and growing calls for her to be removed as Governor, but an upset constituency is not the legal standard here. In fact, there are no political committees that are or were actively seeking the recall of Governor Whitmer,” the complaint reads.
MMF asks the Bureau of Elections to “swiftly investigate the Whitmer Campaign’s illegal circumvention of the contribution limits.”
Worth noting: The complaint comes after Whitmer’s campaign submitted its fundraising disclosure for the first seven months of 2021. The document shows that the governor raised around $3.4 million in contributions from donors who gave more than $7,150.
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