Stuffs Democrat Slush Fund with $3.5 Million in Inappropriate Contributions

LANSING, MI – Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson this week again ducked formal questions over campaign finance rules she’s citing – or ignoring – in allowing Governor Gretchen Whitmer to launder $3.5 million in inappropriate campaign contributions to the Michigan Democrat Party. Benson’s refusal to provide answers this week was in response to a declaratory ruling request from the Michigan Freedom Fund. 

Whitmer previously accepted donations in amounts up to $250,000 from individual donors, well over the legal limit of $7,150. Instead of being forced to return the money to the donor, which up until this point has been standard operating procedure from the Secretary of State’s office, Benson allowed Whitmer to transfer the funds to the state’s Democrat campaign committee.

Journalist Charlie LeDuff recently reported in Deadline Detroit that the Democrat Party is already spending money promoting Whitmer, Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel following the $3.5 million transfer.

The Michigan Freedom Fund in January asked Benson for a declaratory ruling on a series of unanswered questions about the Whitmer fundraising scandal. Benson’s response this week refused to provide answers, keeping voters in the dark about the Democrat’s legal justification for ignoring campaign finance rules to enrich campaign accounts used to support her own re-election campaign.

Benson in December issued a ruling ignoring state law that allowed Whitmer to “disgorge” millions of dollars in campaign contributions gathered above the legal limit to campaign coffers that benefit the Governor, instead of being forced to return the illegal campaign cash to donors.

Whitmer raised millions of dollars in excess of the state’s campaign finance laws and limits. The Democrat misleadingly claimed she was raising money to fight a recall campaign, but no recall campaign was ever undertaken against her.

“Gretchen Whitmer made the biggest unethical campaign cash grab in Michigan history and Jocelyn Benson ignored the law to let her political ally funnel the cash into a slush fund that’ll benefit both of their reelection campaigns,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Our formal ruling request sought specific answers as to what authority allows the Secretary of State to ignore campaign finance law requirements and Benson’s office refused to answer them. Instead of giving the people of Michigan answers, Benson doubled down on keeping them in the dark.

“Jocelyn Benson has usurped the role of the Legislature, ignored how the Secretary of State’s office customarily remedies excessive contributions, and gave Whitmer’s illegal donors a pass,” said Sachs. “Everyone else running for office has to follow the campaign finance rules, but Jocelyn Benson appears to believe she and Whitmer have a different set of rules to benefit themselves, which is what we have seen time and again from Democrats these past few years.”

The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit