The deadline for filing campaign financial disclosure reports just passed in Michigan, and the reports confirm the suspected: Despite claims to the contrary, the Reform Michigan Government Now! initiative campaign was almost a purely partisan Democratic affair. As The Detroit Free Press reports, the Michigan Democratic Party spent nearly $1.5 million to support the group, trying to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot to restructure the three branches of government. In the process, eight Republican judges from the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court would have lost their seats.
Business groups certainly contributed to the opposition, but then, they never pretended to be disinterested parties. (AP story.)
As an inadvertently posted a campaign document revealed, the proposal was an attempt to gain control of state government in time for the next legislative redistricting following the 2010 Census. The Court of Appeals and then the state Supreme Court kept the measure off the ballot because it represented a major revision of the constitution, requiring a constitutional convention.