Part-Time Legislature Proposal Sees Limited Individual Support

Only 13 individuals made contributions to Lt. Governor Brian Calley’s ballot proposal to create a part-time legislature, with the rest of donations coming from an organization called “Fund for Michigan Jobs,” which is linked to former lobbyists – the very people whom opponents to a part-time legislature say would benefit most from having a part-time legislature.

The Fund for Michigan Jobs appears to be led by Larry Meyer, a retired chairman and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association, and John Pirich, the attorney for the Clean MI Committee, as vice president. The organization has so far provided the most money to the measure – a total of $506,000 to date, according to the Clean MI Committee’s latest campaign finance statement.

MIPAC had also provided an in-kind contribution of more than $300,000 for media and advertisements on the “Clean Michigan Government” initiative. MIPAC’s July quarterly reported more than $100,000 in contributions from people such as James Nicholson, chairman of PVS Chemical ($13,600); the Michigan Bankers Association’s MIBANK PAC ($10,000); Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers ($10,000), DTE Energy Company PAC ($10,000); and others.

All told, the Clean MI Committee reported some $314,933 in contributions for the period between June 10 and July 20, which the July quarterly statement covers. Cumulatively, the campaign has logged more than $515,000 in contributions, not including the “in-kind” contribution by MIPAC.

But the Clean MI Committee also reported having spent some $443,314 overall, more than 90 percent ($407,771) in the last two months alone – leaving it with only $74,574 cash on hand as it continues work. Among expenses were more than $92,800 to pay for campaign walkers going door to door, as well as $66,800 to John Yob, a Republican political consultant, to reimburse for hotel costs, the statement indicated.

Earlier this month, Calley decided to revise the petition, thus voiding any and all signatures on his measure to that point. The decision came at a time of high skepticism from the media, including the Great Lakes Beacon, questioning how the campaign treated individuals with Young Americans for Liberty, who spearheaded the door-to-door effort.

Danielle Emerson

Danielle Emerson