Rep. Driskell Votes Against Plan to Weaken Campaign Transparency

Senate Bill 661 allows special interests to spend more on politics
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LANSING — State Representative Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) voted against Senate Bill 661, which would change Michigan elections by allowing special interests to spend more money on politicians and campaigns while weakening financial disclosure.

“People want to know that their government is working for them instead of special interests,” Driskell said. “This bill makes it easier for people and organizations to influence the political process, and that’s why I voted against it. We need more transparency, not more money.”

SB 661 reduces campaign and governmental transparency for politicians and special interests at the expense of voting citizens. The bill would:

  • Double the maximum donation an individual, special interest or lobbyist can make to a candidate or political party and adjust the contribution limits for inflation every four years.
  • Alter the definition of “contribution” in order to raise annual contribution caps on items such as food and beverages.
  • Limit Michigan’s secretary of state from implementing rules that would limit the spending by political action committees (PAC), super PACs and other special interests.

“Elections should not be able to be bought and sold, and people have the right to know who is donating money and funding advertisements,” Driskell said. “I support reforms that increase disclosure, such as the bill I sponsored this year that would close the revolving door between state government and lobbying. These bills are a big step in the wrong direction.”