Land, husband fined $66k by FEC for excess contributions in 2014
Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land and her husband have agreed to pay the Federal Election Commission a $66,000 civil penalty for excessive campaign contributions during the 2014 election.
Under an agreement with the FEC, Land, husband Dan Hibma and her campaign committee made "no admission" as to the commission's legal findings, but agreed not to contest allegations that they violated federal law by making and accepting $700,000 in excess contributions and failing to accurately disclose them.
Land, a former Michigan secretary of state, lost the 2014 race to Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, by 13 percentage points.
The couple contended they acted in good faith and any violation was inadvertent and unintentional, later refunding the $700,000, according to the agreement.
They had argued that contribution limits of $2,600 for an individual don't apply to a candidate's spouse, but the FEC maintained that they do apply to family members, including spouses.
The complaint was filed in 2014 by the Michigan Democratic Party, which had raised questions about the sources of funding for her largely self-financed campaign.
“Terri and Dan made the rational decision to pay a civil settlement rather than continue to fight what is likely an unconstitutional restriction on spousal contributions," said Charlie Spies, counsel for the couple.
"The settlement was minimal because they acted in good faith at all stages of the process.”
Senate fundraising update
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, holds a major cash edge in her race for re-election, reporting $6.27 million in the bank as of July 18.
That's after her campaign spent $3.2 million to reserve television air time for the last four weeks before Election Day, a spokesman said.
The two Republican hopefuls facing off in the US. Senate primary next week also spent big in the first two and a half weeks of July, according to campaign finance reports.
Grosse Pointe financier Sandy Pensler, who has largely self-funded his campaign, spent at least $752,500 on media buys and $145,300 on direct mail. He ended the pre-primary reporting period with $1.24 million in cash reserves.
Businessman John James of Farmington Hills spent over $752,900, including at least $551,300 on media buys and almost $30,000 on direct mail. He reported nearly $869,000 cash on hand as of July 18.
Steve Friday, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 7th District, has picked up an endorsement from Our Revolution.
The group formed in the wake of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign and has a network around the state.
Friday, a social worker and Air Force veteran, faces former state Rep. Gretchen Driskell, the former mayor of Saline, in next week's primary. The winner will go on to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, in the fall.
Peters' biker tour
Peters will embark on his third annual #RideMI Motorcycle Tour next week, traveling through the Bay Region and Northern Michigan, his office said.
Peters, who co-founded the bipartisan Senate Motorcycle Caucus last year, will stop in 12 counties over five days, meeting with constituents and businesses.
Michigan veterans and residents are expected to ride their bikes with Peters for various legs.
Contributor: Melissa Nann Burke