Michigan's Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, who's running against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, has an interesting take on the millions and millions of dollars in dark money pouring into her contest and others around the country, especially from the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity.
Apparently, it's as American as apple pie, according to comments she gave to Mlive.com:
While Peters is disappointed in the recent Supreme Court rulings lifting the spending for organizations and businesses, Land says they protect free speech.
Land mentioned her time working on the re-election campaign for President Gerald R. Ford.
"Back then there were all sorts of different ways they communicated messages, different groups did," Land said in an interview with MLive. "And I think that’s the American way, that’s what's great about our country, is everyone gets to have a voice and they can talk about the issues that are important to them. As candidates we need to talk about the issues that are important to the voters and that’s what we are doing."
Land is the beneficiary of at least $4.6 million from outside spending from groups that do not disclose their donors, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. And the vast majority of that money comes from Americans for Porsperity, which has spent $3.6 million on Land's behalf.
It's perhaps not surprising that Land isn't too worried about knowing where the money comes from. A quick Web search finds her ruling against stricter disclosure requirements in Michigan races when she was secretary of state, particularly concerning "issue ads."
But her history seems to be a bit off. When she worked for Ford's 1976 campaign, rules were actually relatively strong, having been revamped in 1972 and 1974 in reaction to the Watergate scandal. Among the reforms were requiring disclosure. The post-Citizens United non-disclosure that Land is benefiting from and advocating for now actually more resembles the Nixonian political landscape from before Watergate.