In a unique Michigan quirk, the state’s campaign finance law predates the term limit law, and therefore “does not clearly allow for fundraising by lawmakers who can’t be re-elected,” according to Egan. A 1978 ruling by the Secretary of State sets precedent for a “fundraising event” to exclude anything that does not raise proceeds to influence elections, but there remains no explicit fundraising prohibition. In addition to the hazy legal ground, checks on state politicians are inadequate because the Bureau of Elections is understaffed and unable to scrutinize the thousands of campaign finance reports that it receives, Robinson said (and the director of the state’s Bureau of Elections didn’t dispute). Given this, the spotlight from the Detroit Free Press shines all the brighter.
United States Project
11:00 AM - July 3, 2012
Why are lame ducks still raising campaign funds?
The Detroit Free Press takes a look at the books of 22 state lawmakers
Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products
Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles
Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist
Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’
Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”
“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”
“Because dead men tell no tales, visitors to Père Lachaise cemetery lend their ears to Bertrand Beyern”
“The death of newspapers is sad, but the threatened loss of journalistic talent is catastrophic. If that’s you, it’s time to learn something outside the production routine of your current job.”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.