Union spending big in Michigan to back Dem for Senate

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is spending hundreds of thousands dollars to elect Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters in Michigan just months after it settled one of the largest campaign finance violations in state history.

SEIU COPE, the union’s political arm, has spent more than $300,000 on a 30-second attack ad against Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land, according to FEC filings. The union, which represents tens of thousands of Michigan healthcare workers and public employees, has been the fifth largest independent political spender in the 2014 cycle thus far.

“With Terri Lynn Land Michigan’s working families just keep falling behind,” the ad says.

The major ad buy, which has reached some of Michigan’s largest media markets, represents the union’s most prolific political spending since it was forced to pay the second largest campaign finance fine in state history in March. The $200,000 settlement stemmed from SEIU’s campaign operations during the 2012 election, when it launched a failed campaign to amend the state constitution to force home healthcare workers to join unions.

SEIU funneled about $9 million into two union front groups during the 2012 campaign in order to avoid disclosure.

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