Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) has urged residents to support Michigan businesses amid her ongoing lockdown orders, but her campaign sent a mailing printed in and sent from Wisconsin.
The Detroit Free Press reported:
The fundraising plea arrived at many Michigan households Tuesday with an envelope showing Whitmer at a construction site and the words: “Fixing the Damn Road Ahead — Together.” Whitmer campaigned in 2018 on a pledge to “fix the damn roads.”
Markings on the envelope and the printed materials inside show the postage was paid by Advanced Mail, a marketing company in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and the materials were also printed in Wisconsin, at a union shop.
A campaign spokesman claimed it was all just one big misunderstanding.
“The Whitmer for Governor campaign has always worked closely with union- and Michigan-based printers, and will continue to do so in the future,” campaign spokesman Christopher Mills told the paper.
“The vendor error has been corrected to ensure that the campaign can continue to support our relationship with local union printers.”
Campaign finance disclosure records show Whitmer for Governor has paid hundreds of thousands to Madison, Wisconsin-based Run the World for “direct mail.”
On July 31, 2020, Whitmer’s campaign committee paid the outfit $105,335. On August 25, 2020, Whitmer’s committee paid the company $22,384. On September 23, 2020, Whitmer for Governor paid Run the World $102,132 for “direct mail in-house.”
Numerous other payments were made to Run the World:
- June 22, 2020: $95,702
- May 1, 2020: $83,419
- February 19, 2020: $23,702
Whitmer’s group also paid the Wisconsin-based firm five figures for “email services” and at least $100,000 for “list acquisition.”
Run the World listed Whitmer as a client on its website.
Mills, Whitmer’s campaign spokesman, had a Charlotte, North Carolina, address listed in the financial filings.
“Despite the adversity we have all faced this year, our small businesses have proven what it means to be a Michigander, by rising to the occasion and exemplifying true innovation, collaboration and Midwestern grit,” Whitmer said in November, according to the Free Press.
At the time, Whitmer said:
Our small businesses have not only supported their communities while keeping their employees, customers, and our brave front-line workers safe, but they have made us all proud to call Michigan our home. We all must continue doing our part to help our small businesses not only survive this ongoing pandemic but thrive long after it has ended.
“Mills did not immediately respond to questions about how the mistake happened, what the dollar value was of the work the campaign sent to Wisconsin, or whether Whitmer was aware of the decision,” the paper reported.