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Takeaways following release of city council candidates campaign finances

October 31, 2017
<p>A flyer supporting East Lansing City Council candidate Aaron Stephens, mailed to residents and sponsored by the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors PAC.&nbsp;</p>

A flyer supporting East Lansing City Council candidate Aaron Stephens, mailed to residents and sponsored by the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors PAC. 

The candidates for East Lansing City Council were required to submit their correct fundraising information to the Ingham County Clerk by Oct. 27, a deadline only one candidate met.

Friends of Ruth Beier

The campaign for incumbent Ruth Beier did not raise or spend any money for this year’s election, according the documents submitted to the Ingham County Clerk’s office.

There is slightly more than $1,800 in campaign finance money left from the 2013 election.

Friends of Susan W. Woods

Incumbent Susan Woods’ campaign did not file any finance information for the 2017 election.

The campaign did not raise any money this year, they just used what was left from the previous election, Woods said. 

"I find that cumbersome," Woods said. "You have to file every few months, and I had money left over from the previous campaign so I thought I would use that."

Woods had more than $5,000 left from the previous election, according to Ingham County Clerk records.

The campaign has been charged a late fee for failing to file, per Michigan Law. It is a $25 fee per day until filed and up to a $500 charge.

The Committee to Elect Aaron Stephens

The campaign for MSU senior Aaron Stephens did meet the Friday deadline, but the stated total amount of money raised did not match the donations listed. 

The total stated was $185 more than the listed donations. 

However, on Monday afternoon Stephens’ campaign resubmitted its information with the total matching donations. The campaign will not be charged a late fee because they met the first deadline.

The form was submitted again due to clerical errors, Stephens said.

Greater Lansing Association of Realtors PAC

This PAC was created Oct. 4, 2017 and has mailed multiple flyers to East Lansing residents in support of Stephens.

The PAC did not meet the filing deadline and was charged $25. The PAC filed on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 30.

The organization spent more than $32,800 since Oct. 4, according to records. The money was spent on mailers and online advertising, Vice President of Public Policy and Operations Mark Dickens said.

The PAC has a process where they interview candidates and rank them before selecting the person they want to support, Dickens said.

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"Aaron is most aligned with our vision for East Lansing and will work with us on accomplishing that vision," Dickens said. "Even though he supports the income tax, it's really up to the voters. It's not up to Aaron Stephens, the city council proposed that. He's not on the city council."

The election is Nov. 7. In addition to city council seats, there is a proposed income tax and property tax reduction on the ballot. To learn more about the candidates, read The State News article here.

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