Bouchard Violated Campaign Finance Laws in 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign, 2012 Sheriff Race
LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party today filed a complaint against Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard for violating the Michigan Campaign Finance Act during his 2010 run for governor and his 2012 re-election campaign by accepting excessive contributions and laundering money through several affiliated political action committees.
“To see a prominent law enforcement official flouting the law so flagrantly is disappointing,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer. “Going back to his ill-fated bid for governor, Sheriff Bouchard has been using several PACs, each controlled by his campaign treasurer, Robert F. Kennedy, to ‘earmark’ contributions from the PACs directly into his campaign accounts. This practice violates the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, and the Michigan Secretary of State has repeatedly warned candidates and their contributors against it.”
In 2010, Bouchard had two candidate committees: Mike Bouchard for Governor and Friends of Michael Bouchard, his sheriff’s campaign committee. In addition, Bouchard’s campaign treasurer controls the following three PACs: Bouchard Victory PAC, Invest in Michigan and Capital Affairs PAC. They exist primarily to support Bouchard’s campaigns, and each gave the maximum contribution, $34,000, to Bouchard’s two candidate committees.
In one instance, the Bouchard Victory PAC and Invest in Michigan, which had both maxed out to the two candidate committees, contributed funds to a fourth PAC, North Oakland PAC, which then made $34,000 contributions to Bouchard’s candidate committees the very next day.
In another example of “earmarking,” the Capital Affairs PAC maxed out to both Bouchard candidate committees. These contributions came entirely from five individuals — including Mara Letica-Saad, M.J. Moroun, Matthew Moroun and A.A. Moroun — that had already contributed the individual maximum amount, $3,400, to Bouchard’s candidate committees.The contributions from the Morouns and Letica-Saad totaled $85,000.
Finally, Bouchard’s campaign treasurer committed another campaign finance violation when he transferred $125,000 of the contributions directed to Bouchard’s sheriff’s campaign into Bouchard’s gubernatorial campaign account.
Under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, knowingly violating the campaign contribution limits is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.