LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey is being accused of collecting campaign contributions for one cause, but then funneling those dollars into other organizations.
The Secretary of State’s office has referred this matter to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, while a spokesperson for Shirkey has denied any wrong doing.
In May of 2021, long time Michigan political insider Robert LaBrant filed an 11 page complaint with the state election bureau in which he accused Shirkey of violating the state campaign finance laws by allegedly funneling money for the ‘Unlock Michigan’ ballot proposal into other organization.
In the filing, LaBrant alleges that the Shirkey scheme involved the illegal use of dark money on a scale never before seen.
Dark money contributions do not have to be reported to the state and contributors names are not filed either.
A whole host of documents were filed with state election officials, and Michigan Director of Elections Jonathan Brater investigated the complaints and determined there was a violation, and asked the defendants to enter a conciliatory agreement, but the state says the parties “refused to participate.”
With that, the Secretary of State’s office has now referred the allegations to the Attorney General’s office.
A spokesperson for Shirkey dismisses the charges as “baseless accusations” and said they have always complied with the Michigan campaign finance laws.
The attorney involved in the case says Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is putting politics ahead of the law, and adds there is no reason at all to believe there are any violations.
Backers of Shirkey contend that similar allegations in the past have been dismissed.