No violations found after 2 campaign finance complaints made against Michigan Gov. Whitmer

Michigan Department of State investigated two complaints against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

FILE - In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her virtual State of the State address the state, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer on Wednesday, Sept. 29 will deem some Republican-backed budget provisions unconstitutional attempts to restrict COVID-19 public health measures but allow language limiting potential state and municipal vaccination requirements. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File) (Uncredited, Michigan Governors Office)

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State said no violations have been found in connection with two campaign finance complaints made against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The complaints centered around Whitmer’s use of campaign committee funds to pay for a chartered flight out of state and the acceptance of donations in excess of campaign contribution limits due to recall efforts.

“As with any complaint, the professional staff with Michigan’s Bureau of Elections conducted a thorough analysis that included a review of all relevant laws, policies, and the facts presented, which resulted in the department concluding that there was no legal violation in either instance,” department spokesman Jake Rollow said.

The department concluded that the use of campaign funds to pay for the chartered flights was allowed because the purpose was “to ensure the governor’s physical safety in response to credible and ongoing threats related to her role as governor of Michigan.”

Whitmer reimbursed the campaign committee for the market value of first-class flights for herself and her family, according to the Department of State.

The acceptance of donations in excess of campaign contribution limits due to several recall efforts is permitted under a longstanding interpretation of Michigan campaign finance law, which was established in a 1984 interpretive statement and a declaratory ruling issued by the department, according to a release.

In the release, the department expresses a desire to revisit the “decades-old policy regarding fundraising into a campaign committee during a recall effort.” Officials said they would welcome a request for a revised declaratory ruling.

But in this instance, there was no evidence of a violation, according to the release.

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