The Michigan Senate has approved campaign finance legislation that would write the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling into state law. The court ruled that the First Amendment allows unrestricted independent political spending by outside groups. Democrats say the bill not only codifies “Citizens United” – it expands it. “This bill firmly points Michigan in the wrong direction towards a future of dark money and convoluted electoral processes,” said state Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, in an uncharacteristically impassioned speech on the Senate floor.
“These bills will expand the loopholes in Michigan’s already dated campaign finance laws and would allow Super PACs to get involved with the referendums and ballot initiatives and continue to control this process,” said state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing.
… Other bills would limit weekend hours for local clerks ahead of elections, and move Oakland County’s executive election to gubernatorial elections years from presidential election years.
“They’re trying to make voting more difficult,” said state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor. “They’re trying to change the rules about when certain officials are elected. And all of these things – all of these different voter suppression efforts – are meant to lower turnout and advantage the Republican Party.”