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Sen. Ruth Johnson comments on Build a Better Michigan campaign finance violation settlement

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, former secretary of state and current chair of the Senate Elections Committee, issued the following statement after the Build a Better Michigan group settled a campaign finance violation complaint on $2.4 million in ads for only $37,500:

“I appreciate that the decision has been upheld that a campaign finance violation occurred, but I think the fine is exceedingly too small.

“It sends the wrong message to people. It says, ‘Look, you can violate the law, spend $2 million on an ad, hide your donors from Michigan voters, and then resolve it for a fine of less than 2 percent.’

“There needs to be a better deterrent. It sets a bad precedent. People have a right to know who is paying for a candidate’s ads. Transparency shouldn’t be optional for a small fee.”