Rep. Brinks Votes Against Plan to Weaken Campaign Transparency

Senate Bill 661 allows special interests to spend more on politics
Monday, December 16, 2013

LANSING — State Representative Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) voted against Senate Bill 661, which would change Michigan elections by allowing special interests to spend more money on politicians and campaigns while weakening financial disclosure.

“No one has ever said that the problem with politics is that there isn’t enough money in it,” Brinks said. “People don’t want special interests showering politicians with more money and buying influence. People want transparency and accountability. This bill is wrong for Michigan.”

SB 661 reduces campaign and governmental transparency for politicians and special interests at the expense of voting citizens. The bill would:

  • Double the maximum donation an individual, special interest or lobbyist can make to a candidate or political party and adjust the contribution limits for inflation every four years.
  • Alter the definition of “contribution” in order to raise annual contribution caps on items such as food and beverages.
  • Limit Michigan’s secretary of state from implementing rules that would limit the spending by political action committees (PAC), super PACs and other special interests.

“Voters don’t want more back-room deals brokered by special interests and money-hungry politicians,” Brinks said. “We need reforms that make our government more accountable and transparent to the people who voted us into office. I’m ashamed that this bill ever made it to the House floor, and I am proud to have voted against it.”