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“Secret Money Shouldn’t Decide Michigan Ballot Campaigns”


This afternoon legal expert and transparency advocate Jocelyn Benson held a tele-press conference to discuss the influx of secret cash into Michigan’s ballot proposal campaigns from shadowy corporate special interests.

“Secret money shouldn’t decide Michigan ballot campaigns,” said Benson, a law professor at Wayne State University who also actively pushes for election contribution disclosure through the Michigan Transparency Coalition.

“Protecting Michigan Taxpayers has spent or reserved $11.3 million on advertising so far, but has not declared a single contribution or donor to the Secretary of State.   Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution has spent or reserved $6.545 million on advertising so far, but has declared less than $354 thousand dollars in contributions.  With more than $17.8 million dollars targeting a single ballot proposal, Michigan voters deserve far more transparency, especially in light of the false ad content these groups are spreading.

‘The claim that Prop 2 would eliminate safety standards for bus drivers, teachers and other school employees has already received a “foul” from The Center for Michigan’s independent Truth Squad. (http://bridgemi.com/2012/09/anti-prop-2-group-goes-too-far-with-sexual-predator-claim-truth-squad-rules/)  Yet, such falsehoods keep resurfacing in press releases and television ads from these front groups.”

Recent ads with false information and fear mongering require immediate disclosure of the funders behind these attacks.  Protect Working Families is calling for such ads to be removed from the airwaves immediately.

Benson warned that the total amount of unaccountable spending by corporate bosses is likely to climb as Election Day nears.

“Our democracy is based on the principle that well-informed citizens will make reasonable choices.  When no one is held accountable for falsehoods spread through millions of dollars’ worth of secret special interest advertising, working families pay the price,” concluded Benson.

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