As part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative effort, Bridge Magazine‘s Mike Wilkinson and WDET‘s Sandra Svoboda teamed up on a couple of reports about Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s campaign finance and fundraising strategies. They are:
Today, Detroit Free Press columnists Stephen Henderson and Nancy Kaffer examine the stories and the impact of the mayor’s nonprofit. Kaffer writes:
For the last decade, southeast Michigan politics have been absolutely lousy with nonprofits, the kind that can receive unlimited contributions but don’t have to disclose donors. And thus far, the track record for politicians and those kinds of nonprofits hasn’t been so good.
And Henderson concludes:
…these committees have one purpose, no matter how upfront their propagators pledge to be: They’re intended to operate around the law, to dance outside campaign finance and other tax restrictions, to achieve political aims. Right there, that puts them out-of-bounds in my book. We have campaign finance rules and restrictions for a reason. And we expect that public officials will conduct their business, well, in public. These committees are about undermining those expectations, ostensibly within the letter of the law, but clearly far outside the spirit of it.
Others have weighed in about what issues accompany the modern era of campaign finance. Here are two interviews Svoboda conducted in conjunction with the articles.
Here is a transcription of the Rich Robinson interview.
Here is a transcription of the Peter Quist interview.