State Rep. Ann Bollin is spearheading a plan to close a campaign finance loophole that at least one elected official has exploited in the past to accept campaign donations that far exceed the limits laid out in state law.
Bollin’s legislation would solve the problem by creating separate recall committees under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act for the purpose of raising and expending funds specifically for a recall election.
“Elected officials who become the target of a recall campaign should be able to raise money to defend themselves – but they shouldn’t be able to manipulate our state laws to give themselves an unfair advantage,” said Bollin, R-Brighton Township. “I’m working on a solution to close that loophole.”
Campaign finance reports filed during 2021 show the governor stockpiled millions of dollars by taking in numerous large donations that far surpassed the $7,150 individual contribution limit that applies to gubernatorial campaigns. The current law allows unlimited campaign contributions before an actual recall is approved.
“The mere threat of a recall should not automatically open the door for officeholders to disregard all fundraising limits,” Bollin said. “If that were the case, any incumbent seeking another term in office could ask their friends to file recall paperwork against them just so they could skirt fundraising rules. That’s not right. This is clearly a loophole we need to close.”
Bollin’s legislation, House Bill 4326, allows an elected officeholder for whom a recall petition has been validated for circulation to form a recall committee. The measure would require any unused funds to be returned to the donors no later than 30 days after the recall petition is declared insufficient or the results of the recall election have been certified.
House Bill 4326 has been referred to the House Elections Committee for consideration.
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