Independent spenders are dominating television advertising related to Michigan's principal statewide political campaigns, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Through June 30th, the candidates for governor and United States senator account for less than $4 million out of a total of $17.9 million spent for TV in the campaigns.
The M-C-F-N compiled the data from public files of state broadcasters and cable systems.
Executive Director Rich Robinson says those records were augmented by estimates from the Campaign Media Analysis Group in cases where broadcasters are electing to withhold records of "issue" advertisements about state candidates.
In the US Senate race, Republican nominee Terri Land has spent $1.68 million through June 30th. Meanwhile independent spenders have spent $6.3 million for advertisements criticizing her Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.
Democratic nominee Gary Peters has spent $1.23 million for television advertising so far. Three committees have combined to spend another $3.27 million for advertisements critical of his opponent, Ms. Land.
All three of the groups opposing Ms. Land have disclosed their donors.
In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has spent $1 million for television advertising this year, through June 30th. His spending has been supplemented by $1.5 million in spending by the Republican Governors Association. The RGA is a 527 organization that files reports of its receipts and expenditures with the Internal Revenue Service.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer had yet to sponsor a television advertisement as of June 30th.
The Democratic Governors Association has spent $2.9 million, through that date. It also has advertising running through July 15th in the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint/Saginaw media markets.
Like the RGA, the DGA is a 527 organization that reports its financial activity to the IRS.