Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel argues the excess contributions must be returned or donated if a recall election isn’t called.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer may have to return $3.4 million in campaign funds received from major donors.
Whitmer’s 2022 re-election campaign war chest accepted the monies through what the GOP calls a loophole by which she avoided campaign donation rules. The so-called loophole relaxes contribution limits if an officeholder is faced with an ongoing reelection recall effort.
While several recall petitions have been filed against the governor, none are active or funded.
Whitmer raised a record $8.65 million in 2021 with $10.7 million cash on hand. Her strategy raised $3.4 million from 119 large donors including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who gave $250,000. Attorney Mark Bernstein, brother of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, donated $257,150. Michigan election law caps campaign contributions at $7,150 per person.
In a Wednesday court filing on behalf of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office argued the $3.4 million in excess must be “returned” or donated to a party or a charity if a recall election isn’t called.