Most 2020 in-person campaigning is suspended so candidates are relying more on mail & digital ads. But MI law allows shadowy groups with untraceable donors to invade that campaign space.

THREAD of the type of groups that may contact you & how transparent they are... or aren't ⬇️
1. Candidate Committee: Operated directly by the candidate & committee must include the candidate’s name. All ads must include the committee name & address on it (ie. "Paid for by John Doe for State Rep"). Donors must be disclosed & reported publicly several times a year.
Ads from a candidate committee come directly from the candidate. Find the “Paid for by” line to trace which candidate committee sent it. You can look up any candidate committee’s donors (corporations cannot donate) & expenditures here: 
From here, it gets murkier. Anything other than a committee set up by John Doe for State Rep, with ads paid for by John Doe for State Rep, disclosing the donors supporting John Doe for State Rep can be difficult to trace.
2. Independent PAC: A committee set up by a person or group to support a candidate or group of candidates. May be as clear as “John Doe Leadership PAC” so John Doe can tell you the candidates & issues he supports. But may be as unclear as just “Leaders for Leadership PAC.”
You can still trace Independent PACs here to find out who set it up, who funds it (corporations cannot contribute) & how it is spending its money: 
Alright, now we head into DARK MONEY, which @MichiganCFN defines as “money that's used to influence elections but can't be tracked back to the original donor," ie. ads or mailers that don't expressly tell people how to vote to avoid MI campaign finance disclosure requirements.
3. Super PAC: Could allow a candidate to raise unlimited, untraceable donations — bypassing the restrictions on their candidate committees so the Super PAC can tell you how great the candidate is and/or how awful the opponent is.
I RAILED against Super PACs when the GOP placed them into MI law. Watch me grill the GOP bill sponsor in 2017 here, 6 minutes you'll want to see:
Super PAC donors can be individuals, corporations or non-profits with no limits on how much they can donate. Donations could just be a large lump sum from yet another untraceable group.
. @CraigDMauger testified in our 2017 Election Committee that he once traced a Super PAC’s funding to an LLC & then traced the location of that LLC to a mail-forwarding storefront. 😶

A 501(c)(4) that presents as a “social welfare” non-profit can be set up to do the same thing...
4. 501(c)(4): When exploited for political purposes, these are THE WORST. May not be traceable back to an individual or group. Donors are disclosed only to IRS, not publicly. Can raise unlimited funds from unlimited sources. Can fund Super PACS or send ads that appear political.
MI ranks dead last of 50 states in ethics & transparency by @publicintegrity. I’ll keep fighting for more disclosure of records, finances & campaign funding to ensure officials are accountable to their constituents & not corporate interests who stand to gain from funding them.
For now, my advice as the 2020 campaign cycle heats up: if you can't easily find out who sent you a political ad & who paid for it (“I am this candidate running for this office & this is paid for by my committee” & you can track those donors), you should probably question why.
You can follow @JeremyAllenMoss.
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