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Duggan launches second super PAC

Mike Duggan

Mike Duggan

Staff report

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is doing what recent Michigan politicians love to do: Establish a new super PAC that surrounds donors and recipients in secrecy.

Duggan calls his PAC the Detroit Progress Fund, according to a recent report in Bridge Magazine. Using the fund, Duggan threw himself a birthday party last week with a $1,000-a-head ticket price.

This is Duggan’s second super PAC. He raised more than $3 million for his campaign with the PAC Turnaround Detroit.

Both are organized under 501(c)4 of the tax code, which permits the non-profit to be involved in politics, only not as the primary activity. No donors or spending information have to be revealed — a fact that got Gov. Rick Snyder in trouble with the public when it came to light his NERD fund was paying Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, among other activities Snyder refused to disclose. He dissolved the fund.

Like Snyder saying the NERD fund would allow for spending on state projects for which there is no revenue, Duggan says his Progress Fund will do the same for the city.

Bridge magazine reports by having a super PAC, Duggan is in the minority of politicians at the municipal level. Most candidates who have benefitted from super PACs have run statewide or national campaigns.

This may describe Duggan. Political observers say Duggan has his eye on a race for the governor’s seat four years from now. Many say this explains his lack of support for apparent Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. Should Schauer fail his bid for governor, and Snyder will be termed limited out of office in four years, leaving the race wide open for Duggan, say political observers.

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