Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing serious allegations as part of an ongoing lawsuit.
According to Breitbart, the state’s Republican Party is suing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, also a Democrat, over claims that the governor received campaign contributions in excess of the legal limit.
Millions of dollars at stake
In Michigan, the maximum donation a candidate can accept from an individual donor during an election cycle is $7,150.
There is an exception for candidates facing a recall election, but Republicans assert that Whitmer does not qualify. For her part, Benson has argued that the governor will not directly benefit from the excess campaign contributions since any money not used in response to a recall effort must be returned.
As for the new lawsuit, it came in response to a campaign finance complaint filed by the Michigan Freedom Fund. In its complaint with the state’s elections bureau, the organization argued that Whitmer received many donations in excess of the state limit.
In fact, she is believed to have received at least 10 contributions of more than $100,000 each. As a result, critics say her campaign brought in about $3.4 million more than it should have been allowed to accept.
“No one is above the law”
The case boils down to whether or not Whitmer should be protected by the recall exception. The Michigan GOP argues in its suit that there have been no successful recall petitions against her, so the exception should not apply.
“As of this date, none of the recall petitions that have been approved have returned valid signatures within the required 180 days, and no new recall petitions have been approved since September of 2020,” the court filing asserts.
The state Republican Party noted that Michigan law prohibits a recall during the final year of a governor’s term, meaning that “if there are no additional recall petitions filed by January 1, 2022, any possible recall effort will necessarily be ‘concluded.'”
If it is determined that Whitmer did violate campaign finance laws, she will likely be ordered to either return the excess donations or donate the sum to a qualifying charity or group.
Of course, some critics argue that she might benefit from the situation even if a court rules against her by donating the money to political organizations that could then use the funds to help her win re-election.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Michigan GOP spokesman Gustavo Portela vowed that the party will “fight in court to ensure that campaign finance rules continue to be applied fairly across the board for all candidates running for governor because no one is above the law.”