On Tuesday, the Michigan Advance covered the House vote on a so-called “dark money” bill that would shield nonprofits that influence our elections from disclosing information about their funders.
But we didn’t get a chance to share some of the colorful comments Democrats made in floor speeches against the legislation. House Republicans remained silent on the bill, as they are apt to unless the bill is sponsored by a lawmaker in the chamber that’s voting for the measure. The bill originated in the state Senate.
Here are a couple noteworthy quotes that didn’t make the story:
“Sixty hate groups in this country are also listed as among the 29 types of nonprofit 501(c) organizations; 29 hate groups are in Michigan, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor). “Hate speech and activity across the nation and right here at home is on the rise and these organized hate groups have perpetrated all sorts of atrocities against citizens—especially against marginalized groups of people.
“However, the most insidious weapon these hate groups could have is the shield this bill would provide for their campaign donations. To pass this bill is to embolden those groups to pour more money into candidates they believe will support their twisted agenda. I voted no because we cannot allow Michigan to become a mask for hate groups to operate in darkness,” she continued.
Rep. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), said the bill could mean a “swampier swamp” for Michigan politics, questioning who Republicans are serving in voting for the legislation:
“Which one of your constituents asked for this? [Who said], ‘Representative, bigger swamps, swampier-swamps’?” Moss asked.
“At the end of the day, Democracy dies in darkness,” said Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo), quoting the Washington Post’s new masthead.