Wednesday, October 9, 2013

616 PAC Doesn’t Pay Its Fine

Back on March 4, I noted that the 616 PAC, which supported the re-election of the four incumbent Grand Rapids Township Trustees in the August 2012 primary, had been assessed a $500 penalty for faulty reporting.  It doesn’t seem to have paid the penalty, as indicated by the following document from the Michigan Secretary of State’s web site.

The 616 PAC is also in some difficulty for possibly spending more than the legally permissible amount to support the election of the incumbent trustees — but I will post on that once the Department of Elections has reached its conclusions.

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Grand Rapids Township Website — A Start

Eight months later than originally announced, the new Grand Rapids Township website is finally up.  Jan Holst has the details in a Cadence article.

It is an improvement over the previous version, but so far the changes are largely cosmetic.  For example, the agendas and minutes are still so lacking in detail as to be useless.  Take a look at the website for neighboring Cascade Township.   The full documents township boards and commissions will consider are available on-line before the meetings.  I hope that once the Grand Rapids Township staff gets used to the new site, they will take the simple steps that will help citizens know what is going on.

Monday, March 4, 2013

616 PAC Fined $500 for Campaign Violation

The 616 Political Action Committee, which funded the campaigns of the incumbent trustees in the August 2012 Grand Rapids Township primary has been fined $500 for faulty campaign reporting.  The PAC is headed by Bill Jackson, a lobbyist who works for Trustee Rusty Merchant’s law firm.

All of the various documents are available on the Secretary of State web site:

I also think that the committee overspent the legally permitted amount in funding the campaign. Funneling campaign contributions through a PAC allowed the incumbents to make larger contributions to the PAC than they would have been able to spend on their individual campaigns.  Under the law, a candidate who spends less than $1,000 is exempt from most reporting requirements.  Several of the incumbents donated more than that amount to the 616 PAC. Clicking on the document below will bring up a full-sized copy.