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Federal and state campaign finance laws are extremely specific, mandatory in their requirements and very well spelled out for candidates to follow. Yet two candidates running in Bloomfield Township for clerk – Republicans Tom Smyly and Dave Thomas – have apparently run afoul of the campaign finance laws, with complaints filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office on June 23 by political consultant Joe DiSano, among other complainants. Chief among the campaign finance allegations are, for Smyly, campaign website with lack of attributions of who has paid for the website and mailers; and in Thomas’ case, on his website, Facebook page and mailers, who has paid for them, as required by the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. On July 6, a warning letter was sent to both Smyly and Thomas by Adam Fracassi of the state Bureau of Elections, specifying that “phrase ‘paid for by’ followed by the full name and address of your committee” must be included in all future candidate materials. “This is a rookie mistake. Transparency isn’t just a word to throw around. It has meaning,” DiSano pointed out. As another writer to Downtown put it, “Thomas, who repeatedly claims that he will bring transparency to the office of clerk, doesn’t seem to think that those rules apply to him.”


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