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Michigan Republican Party files complaint against “Build a Better Michigan”

LANSING, Mich., June 20, 2018 –Today, the Michigan Republican Party filed a Campaign Finance Complaint with the Michigan Department of State against ‘Build a Better Michigan,’ a Washington D.C. based non-profit corporation advocating on behalf of Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Gretchen Whitmer. According to the complaint, ‘Build a Better Michigan’ violated Michigan Campaign Finance law in one of two ways: Section 54 of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA) states that a corporation is prohibited from engaging in express advocacy for a candidate. However, two ads by ‘Build a Better Michigan’ entitled “Work Hard” and “Fix the Roads” violated this statute with Whitmer appearing in both ads using the express advocacy language “Gretchen Whitmer Candidate for Governor” and outlining her major campaign themes. Or ‘Build a Better Michigan’ violated section 51 of the MCFA by failing to file and report independent expenditures associated with the previously mentioned ads.

“With 48 days left until the Democrat primary and trailing badly, Gretchen Whitmer and her Washington friends are trying to dump $1.8 million in illegal ads on Michigan’s airwaves,” said Colleen Pero, Michigan Republican Party Chief of Staff and complainant on the filing. Pero continued, “The first act by any person elected as our state’s Governor is to swear to uphold Michigan law. Gretchen Whitmer, an attorney, appears to have approved these illegal ads and coordinated with an outside corporate entity by appearing in them. This was bad judgment on her behalf, and possibly a criminal act by her special interest friends at ‘Build a Better Michigan.’ They must be held accountable.”

In support of their claim, the Michigan Republican Party provided four pieces of evidence which can be found along with a copy of the complaint as attachments with this release. They are: The Build A Better Michigan Articles of Incorporation, Screen shots from both the “Hard Work and “Fix the Roads” ads and an article published on June 12, 2018 in the Detroit News.