By DAVID EGGERT
LANSING (AP) – A super PAC supporting Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan has far outraised other Michigan political groups this year, taking in nearly three times more than the second-place fundraiser: the state House GOP.
Turnaround Detroit reported raising nearly $3 million as of Friday, including $1 million from Penske Corp. and its founder, motorsports owner Roger Penske. Other large donations came from Carolina Hurricanes owner and Compuware Corp. co-founder Peter Karmanos Jr. ($300,000); Vanguard Health, which owns the hospital system Duggan used to run ($210,000); and various Detroit-area companies and business titans.
A super PAC backing Duggan’s opponent in the Nov. 5 nonpartisan election, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, raised nearly $304,000, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which analyzed reports that were due Friday.
A super political action committee can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, including from corporations and unions, to campaign independently for candidates. A regular PAC can accept limited amounts of money but can contribute directly to campaigns.
Outside of the four legislative caucuses – which took in $3 million combined – other top fundraising PACs in 2013 include familiar faces such as health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the United Auto Workers union, the Michigan Association of Realtors and the Michigan Health and Hospitals Association.
Three of the top four legislative leaders are term-limited and can’t run in 2014, which means would-be successors are busy fundraising. Leadership PAC totals indicate which lawmakers may best curry favor with colleagues when it comes time to choose their next leaders.
In the Republican-led Senate, GOP Sens. Arlan Meekhof of West Olive and Mike Kowall of White Lake have the edge at this point. Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor also is faring well among Democrats.
In the GOP-controlled House, leading leadership candidates include Republican Reps. Al Pscholka of Stevensville, Mike Callton of Nashville and Lisa Posthumus Lyons of Alto. Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, does not face term limits yet and is expected to continue leading Democrats in the minority or the majority in the 2015-16 session.
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