SEIU to pay almost $200,000 fine - the second-largest in Michigan - as part of campaign finance complaint settlement

MARCH 10, 2014Election News

LANSING, Mich. – In what is the second-largest fine of its kind, the Service Employees International Union will pay $199,000 in penalties after the Michigan Department of State found there may have been campaign finance violations, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today.

The penalties are part of a conciliation agreement reached by the department with Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care and Home Care First, Inc., related to a 2012 ballot question to amend the state Constitution. Violations included commingling of funds; late filings; not identifying all accounts used; and not providing complete or accurate campaign statements. When combined with late filing fees already paid, they will have paid more than $205,000 in fines.

"Michigan law requires all organizations, including 501(c)4 nonprofit corporations, to file complete campaign finance reports when spending directly in support of a ballot question," Johnson said. "These organizations cannot be used as a means to conceal the identity of the true contributors. This agreement reflects our commitment to transparency and accountability in the campaign finance process, especially in an election year."

A complaint was originally filed in August of 2013, alleging that Home Care First filed its committee's statement of organization late to delay publicly reporting that SEIU contributions were the main source of support for the home health care ballot question.

Additional information, including the original complaint, is available on the MDOS website.