The Michigan Freedom Fund filed a campaign finance complaint against 10 donors to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) reelection campaign, alleging they violated state law when they broke donation limits.
Dubbing it Whitmer’s “$100,000 Club,” Michigan Freedom Fund said in a filing with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) the group “comprised of donors who each illegally gave over $100,000 to Whitmer’s campaign in violation of the $7,150 contribution limit in state law.”
Benson also received a contribution in excess of the $7,150 limit, but returned it the same day.
According to the Michigan Freedom Fund news release, the complaints were filed against:
- Mark Bernstein, a trial lawyer from Farmington Hills who illegally contributed $250,000 on July 20 after a donation of $7,150 on Dec. 30, 2019
- J.B. Pritzker, the Governor of Illinois, who illegally funneled $250,000 to the Governor on July 8, 2021
- Ronda Stryker from Richland, MI, who illegally funneled $250,000 to the Governor on June 23, 2021
- Patricia Stryker from Fort Collins, CO, who illegally gave $250,000 to the Governor on April 12, 2021
- Stacy Schusterman from Tulsa, OK, who illegally gave $250,000 on April 15, 2021
- Ahmed Boomrod from Dearborn, MI, who illegally contributed $50,000 on May 19, 2020, $55,000 on July 8, 2021, and $2,500 on June 14, 2021 after donating $7,150 on June 4, 2019
- James Offield from Harbor Springs, MI, who illegally gave $100,000 on April 19, 2021 after a donation of $7,150 on Oct. 28, 2019
- Karla Jurveston from Los Altos, CA, who illegally gave $100,000 on April 29, 2021 and $1,000 on Oct. 13, 2020
- Heidi Stolte from Seattle, WA, who illegally gave $100,000 on May 5, 2021
- Stephen Silberstein from Belvedere Tiburon, CA, who illegally gave the Governor $100,000 on May 10, 2021
“Whitmer’s $100,000 Club is comprised of far-left liberals who illegally gave Whitmer’s campaign six-figure donations – a violation of state law that limits the amount a person can give to $7,150,” Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund, said in the news release. “Secretary Benson should immediately take action to fine each member of ‘Whitmer’s $100,000 Club’ the amount of their excessive contribution and Whitmer should disgorge the illegal money, along with paying a fine equal to the amount of the illegal donations.”
Michigan Rising Action, another organization critical of Whitmer’s actions, also took issue with the excessive donations.
“It is hard to believe that these political mega-donors didn’t know the law when making these excessive contributions,” Michigan Rising Action Executive Director Eric Ventimiglia said. “Their attempt to justify this blatant violation by asserting Governor Whitmer is facing a recall effort is not only disingenuous, it is a flat-out lie. This is yet another example of Whitmer and her allies operating as if the rules don’t apply to them.”
Whitmer argued she was facing a recall election to justify the limit-breaking amounts, but no serious recall effort was ever underway.
But, even Whitmer herself has questioned the rule that she utilized to her advantage, calling for reform earlier this year.
“I think you know we need, we need reform when it comes to political contributions,” she said. “But so long as the rules are what they are, I’m going to make sure that I always abide by the rules, but that I am gonna run hard, just like I do everything. When I set my mind to something, we’re gonna see it through.”
The move to raise additional funds is not the first time Whitmer has criticized a rule, only to benefit from it. Whitmer hosted a fundraiser in Colorado just days after railing against the influence of out-of-state money.
— — —