A couple weeks ago, CREW filed a complaint against the Michigan Advocacy Trust, a secretive political organization that is spending millions of dollars on TV ads while refusing to disclose its donors—despite the fact that the law requires them to. While they have not said much in their defense, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has come to their aid. This shouldn’t come as much surprise—Michigan Advocacy Trust spent $3.6 million to get him elected to that post. But there are things about AG Schuette’s comments that just don’t add up, so we’ve got some questions for him:
When you denied that the Michigan Advocacy Trust were supporting your campaign and said that they were just “talking about human trafficking,” did you know that they released an ad calling your opponent Mark Totten’s election ads lies?
When you said Michigan Advocacy Trust was not a political organization supporting your campaign but a group working “to help fight human trafficking and find justice for victims of rape,” did you realize that they claim to be a political organization and part of the Michigan GOP?
If you were telling the truth that this group is independent of you and that you don’t control what their ads say, how did they get into what looks like your living room to film you for their ads? And why do those ads appear to show you talking, in your own words, directly to the camera?
If you really have nothing to do with this group, why did you react when we said they need to follow the law and disclose their donors to the IRS by saying we were “trying to rough [you] up?” They aren’t affiliated with you, remember?
Michigan Advocacy Trust says they don’t need to disclose their financial activity to the IRS because they are the type of group that discloses to the state, but then they refuse to disclose to the state. As Michigan’s top law enforcement officer, is it the official position of your office that groups do not have to follow the law and disclose, or does that only apply to the ones that helped get you elected?
We patiently await his answers.