Penalty for Referendum Activity

In Michigan, a corporation has been subjected to a penalty for allegedly failing to disclose its activity related to a referendum campaign. 

Michigan fined big-box retail chain Meijer Inc. more than $190,000 Tuesday for campaign law violations in its effort to build a superstore in a northern Michigan suburb.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said an investigation found Meijer violated state law last year by donating to an effort to recall seven elected Acme Township officials who objected to the chain’s development plans, and by failing to report its activities.

The company also did not file required reports of its spending on a 2005 ballot initiative that overturned a moratorium on big-box store construction in Acme, a community near Traverse City, a Lake Michigan resort town.

“Our campaign finance laws are about openness and disclosure, and in this case Meijer tried to avoid both,” Land said.

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