IT’S A RICH (WO)MAN’S WORLD
Raising money for the next campaign is all part of the election game – and it appears Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) is the consummate player. For the last filing period, January 1-July 20, the campaign to re-elect Whitmer reported it had raised a whopping $8.5 million, and that it has over $10 million cash-on-hand. Mark Fisk, spokesperson for her campaign, noted it was the most raised by any Michigan candidate in an off-year ever, with donations coming from over 25,000 contributors, with the majority of those based in Michigan. “More than 10,000 new donors gave during the fundraising period, there were over 22,000 donations less than $200, and donations were received from every county across the state,” Fisk reported. However, there was some really big fish donors to Whitmer’s campaign, as she fundraised on a 1984 ruling which exempts candidates facing a recall from individual donor limits of $7,150 each – which Whitmer had been facing at the time, although some in the GOP are now calling ‘foul.’ For example, University of Michigan regent and personal injury lawyer Mark Bernstein (whose Supreme Court Justice brother Richard could well have to rule on issues involving the governor) donated $257,150, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) gave his fellow Great Lakes governor $250,000. However, some legal experts contend that because efforts to recall Whitmer fell short, she may have to return the money or contribute it to another legal purpose.