A super political action committee supporting Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan has raised $2.8 million overall and $1.4 million in the latest period, according to a recently released quarterly report.
The largest contributor to Turnaround Detroit’s efforts has been auto and racing executive Roger Penske, who made a $250,000 individual contribution in September and whose Penske Corp. made another $250,000 donation Oct. 7. The money was given in the latest report covering July 27 to Oct. 20.
The Detroit Regional Chamber kicked in another $100,000 on Oct. 17 to the PAC that supports the former Detroit Medical Center CEO. Vanguard Health Systems of Nashville, Tenn., the DMC’s parent company that is in the process of selling its stake to Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., gave the super PAC $100,000, while philanthropist Robert Thompson gave $50,000 on Oct. 10.
Detroit Forward, the super PAC backing Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, has raised slightly more than $300,000 overall — and $161,000 from July 27 to Oct. 20 — and had a remaining balance of a little more than $50,000.
Contributors are taking advantage of a 3-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows an unlimited amount of money from business owners, unions and other groups be spent in favor of or against candidates through the political action committees. It raises the stakes on traditional donations to candidate campaigns, which are limited to $3,400 by individuals and $34,000 by other groups and organizations in Michigan.
Turnaround Detroit was formed earlier this year — with Betty Brooks, the wife of businessman Bill Brooks, and former state Sen. Samuel “Buzz” Thomas of Detroit, spearheading the PAC.
The group didn't pick up steam until Duggan was kicked off the ballot for a Detroit City Charter residency violation and decided to re-enter the race. Records show Turnaround Detroit raised $1.4 million before the Aug. 6 primary and had the backing of several prominent business leaders.
The group spent about $1.2 million, according to the finance report, and has an ending balance of $181,000.