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Posted on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 9:23 p.m.

Rick Snyder spent nearly $11M on Michigan gubernatorial campaign

By Staff

Republican Gov.-elect Rick Snyder spent nearly $11 million in his campaign for the state's top job, including nearly $6 million from his own pocket, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

Snyder raised $12.4 million and received $144,000 in in-kind contributions as of Nov. 22. He didn't take any money from political action committees, but many of his major donors were business executives.

He also got campaign help from the Republican Governors Association, which ran more than $2 million in ads on his behalf during the general election campaign after receiving $5.4 million from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

During the primary election campaign, Snyder's millions enabled him to fill the television airwaves with ads promoting him as "one tough nerd." He beat four opponents in the GOP primary before besting Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the November election.

Bernero's campaign finance report showed he raised $1.9 million in private funds and qualified for $1.1 million in public funds, giving Snyder a four-to-one financial advantage. Snyder reported he still had $1.4 million on hand, while Bernero spent nearly all his money.


Incoming Gov. Rick Snyder

The Associated Press

A former executive at computer maker Gateway Inc. who has created two Ann Arbor venture capital firms, Snyder ran for governor on a platform promising to shake up business as usual at the state Capitol while fixing the economy and making state government run better.

Snyder campaign spokesman Bill Nowling said the more than $6 million Snyder raised from individual donors — none of whom could give more than $3,400 — showed his message resonated with nearly 2,000 supporters.

"It's reflective of the energy that Rick created during the campaign, and it shows that when you have a positive image and a positive message, people are going to respond," Nowling said.

Among Snyder's top contributors were Detroit Pistons owner Karen Davidson and former Bechtel Group co-owner Stephen Bechtel and his wife, Elizabeth, of San Francisco.

Snyder will be sworn in as governor on Jan. 1.



Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 8:01 p.m.

I agree, campaign funding is out of control and so is special influence spending and input to the process of governing. That having been said, both sides have their own groups that fund them and provide the input to the bills that become law and the policies that the governments use. On one side you have business interests, on the other large organized labor. Many well funded candidates lost from Senate races in California and Connecticut to Governors races in Florida and California. Few candidates won on purely having more money. This was a year for the Republicans, just as 2008 was a year for the Democrats. I think (personal opinion) that not having taken large amounts of special interest money may give our Governor Elect some freedom to take on sacred cows on both sides. I hope he can and does. My measure of his success is that all of the professional politicians in the state on both sides are unhappy with him by next summer. We need a Governor with the guts to fix what needs to be fixed. Some of it will come with new taxes (ouch to one side), some of it will come with changing state employee benefits (ouch to the other side). Like the Debt Commission, G.E. Snyder is going to have to toe an unpopular road and bring the rest of the government along with him to make things work in the long run. Maybe we can solve some of the money influence in Lansing while he is at it. It seems Lobbiest is a growing business (At least according to a couple of WUOM stories). I wish everyone in the state government luck, because we as a state need them to succeed, for all of us to succeed.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 6:25 p.m.

Oh please, tell me more about if you know. Paint is all with one brush, please, We are immoral, thinking, tree-hugging non-conformists with socialist tendencies that live in a bubble, blinded by democratic ideology. No, I think anyone with a brain does not need to bash another group to elevate themselves. Michiganders want our state to get better, regardless of whether we are conservative or liberal. We want HONESTY and INTEGRITY. We also would like some jobs, while they are at it. I don't to Rick Snyder to fail -- I want a governor to make things work to the benefit of all citizens. As a voter, I want COMMON SENSE to visit the elected officials. regardless of ideology, becuase it has certainly been lacking in the past few years.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 5:33 p.m.

ditto tdw---liberals and common sense don't mix


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 3:11 p.m.

@Ian my point is that people can vote ever how they choose.It just seems whenever a Repub wins the libs think it was dishonest and only stupid people who can't think on their own are influnced by ads.Fact is libs are just sore losers and they have a hard time believing that anyone can think differently than they do.I see this in Ann Arborites all the time. Also when was the last time a poor person employed people? People like to complain about Wal Mat's pratices but I don't think anyone who works there is being forced to


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

tdw, When they say someone bought the election, in this case, it means that Rick Snyder used his money to buy TV ads, hired expensive consultants, literature, etc. Although it was not a direct payment to voters, the money was used to influence voter decisions. Money is needed to get name recognition and to get the message out. Also, the phrase, "golden rule," general applies to business ownership. When someone owns the most shares or over 50% of a company, that person has the power to make the rules. Money is king.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 1:46 p.m.

I still wish someone would tell me how one " buys " an election.I did'nt get paid to vote for him.And maybe the reason business wanted him to win is because our state drives business away.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 12:40 p.m.

Another election bought by the wealthiest. Its a poor commentary on the public's ability to think critically. Big Brother is not the goverment, it is the top.01% of capital owners who control it.

Dog Guy

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 12:19 p.m.

John Dingell spent more than the governor-elect--most of it our kids' money. Be grateful.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : noon

Rick is great guy personally and a great businessman. I didn't need to be governor to be successful. He has already done that within his own right. He thought that his success in business could translate into helping save the State of Michigan. So he does what he can to get the job. Something wrong with that? If he is successful, I hope all the naysayers will have kind things to say. Probably not. Somewhere along along with a balanced budge, increased employment, and reduced government size, their entitlements will probably diminish or go away, thus failure in their eyes.

mike from saline

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 10:37 a.m.

@Trouble Your golden Rule is Bunk!! I just pointed out 2 [recent] Glaring exeptions to your rule. Would you care to comment?


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 10:31 a.m.

Campaign spending IS out of control. However, although I did not vote for Snyder, I am not going to dump on him before he's even taken office. Anyone going into that job will have a lot to take care of, and what things look like 2 years from now will have to be the point at which we have something to grade the administration on. Having said that, if things go against our liking, at least we can pin the blame squarely on one party. I am not at all for a Republican dominated administration, since their social agenda usually conflicts with liberal views, and the coziness with big business interests over citizen's interests will be a problematic theme.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

Golden Rule! He who have all Gold, make all Rules!

mike from saline

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 10:09 a.m.

If it's so easy to buy an election, Why didn't it work for Dick Devos in 2006? Why didn't it work for the "Pro racial prefrence" crowd, who out spent the backers of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative 10 to 1 [also in 2006].


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 9:47 a.m.

publicly financed elections anyone? We wonder why we have such high incumbent election rates yet we continue to let money buy political office.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 9:45 a.m.

election spending is out of control. We have millions of people who are homeless and starving yet we spend ridiculous amounts of money on campaigns. what a waste.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 9:23 a.m.

Good or bad? I think the fact that Rich Snyder paid millions toward his own campaign could be a very good thing. Although I think there should be tax payer elections to take the billions of corporate and PAC money out of politics. This would level the playing field and give more control over politics to the people where it belongs. Unfortunately, the powers be will not let this happen because they control our government. The main reason why Rick spent millions of his own money was so that he would not have to take PAC or corporate money. Unlike Obama who took MILLIONS from the banking industry (he promised he would not do that but did. Another lie). Thus, he is NOT obligated to any large interests. He can do what he believes is best for Michigan without any baggage. That is why the establishment, Michigan Republican Party, was not thrilled about Rick becoming the Republican candidate. Rick cannot be influenced and push around. With so much corruption and influence peddling in our government, this is a good thing. I hope Rick sticks to his guns and not allow powerful outside forces to influence his decisions. Particularly our federal government.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

Wow. The job officially starts Jan 1 and yet Rick is supposed to have already fixed the high unemployment rate, the national debt and global warming. For the love of purple daisies, give the fella at least a week AFTER being sworn in to get these problems solved.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 9:03 a.m.

Those wealthy contributers didn't give without expecting something in return. Snyder is essentially paid off for some future favors.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

Though she failed to help matters much, its worth remembering that Engler ran the train in to the ditch.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 7:34 a.m.

I think it is admirable that a person can use the resources that he earned to achieve a goal. Liberals have no problem with public sector unions contributing millions to their favorite candidate. BTW, the money comes from taxpayers and is funneled through public sector unions. Gov.-elect Snyder used his own money, and that of peole who gave voluntarily. Let Mr. Synder take office before you begin to criticize. It took Gov. Grandholm 8 years to run the state in the ditch. Mr. Synder will not turn it around by Jan 2, 2011.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 4:07 a.m.

This is one of the issues I have with Mr. Snyder. There are an estimated 160,000 job seeking Michiganders, that either lost unemployment benefits on 11/30 or will lose them by 12/31, if Congress does not renew the program. Just for clarification, these are people that are UNDER 99 weeks of supplemental payments but over 26 weeks of the initial state benefit period. Either way, Snyder takes a two day trip to Washington, D.C. on 12/2 (reported in the Detroit News) to lobby for Congress to help pay for Michigan's unemployment borrow debt (the highest, in the nation, by the way). BUT, on the same trip, he refuses to lobby Congress to extend the DATES one year on the jobless extension. In just, he believes that is not his job to do. WTH? Michigan has a declining unemployment rate, true enough but, the rate is still 12.8 percent. In October 2009, it was 14.3 percent. Then, he 'round the way' blasts outgoing Governor Granholm for lobbying out of state companies to come into our state and open businesses to what....create jobs! Snyder 'in just' stated (in the article), he did not believe that Michigan should give any incentives for companies to open businesses, here. Color me not impressed, sorry. If this is how he plans on 'being the nerd job creator', get ready for Michigan's unemployment rate to rise, this time to 20 percent. At least everyone cannot blame outgoing Governor Granholm (she is out of office on 12/31) or the Democrats (the GOP hold will super majority in the Senate, control the state House, all state executive offices and the Governors' seat 1/1/2011). Wonder whom will get the blame for all of Michigan's issues then? Way to go Snyder but hey....too many Michiganders fell for your 'packaged campaign' hook, line and sinker (glad it wasn't me). With 'awesome views and reactions' like the ones pointed out above, they will wonder real soon exactly who and what they voted for on November 3rd. Michiganders Lesson Number 1001-Learn about the real positions of candidates BEFORE voting for them. It is too late (for at least four years) to regret the decision, afterwards.


Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 2:01 a.m.

I think our entitlement population and union support just couldn't drum up enough cash for old Virg. We missed out on all his new and innovative ideas.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 11:24 p.m.

Dang.  It'll sure cost ya when you decide to purchase the pole position for the primary and the general election. Snyder has admirably succeeded in turning the governor's race into yet another venture capital campaign. Now that he's won, his apologists no longer need to bother showing up on these threads. They don't have to perform logical and eithical contortions in order to justify their candidate starting the fall campaign on third base — while Virg Bernero stuggled to find enough cash to reach first base. Candidates like Snyder in Michigan and Whitman and California are the most recent poster children for full-scale election finance reform. Too bad, though, that the Supremes recently outlawed fairness and handed the financing of electoral democracy over to corporations and the super-rich.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 10:33 p.m.

... the best Governerd money can buy! Being Governor of Michigan is a lot like being Detroit Lions' Head Coach. However good the intentions, the situation quickly spins out of control - just ask Jenny Granholm!

David Frye

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 10:16 p.m.

Michigan: best government money can buy. I just wonder how long it will take the people of Michigan to figure out that we've been played for saps.

David Briegel

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 10:11 p.m.

You only have to outspend an honest guy by 4-1 to buy the Michigan Governors Office and still live in your own McMansion! Rupert Murdoch's Nat'l Gov Assn, FAUX News and the Chamber of Commerce didn't hurt!