We are a coalition of working families in Michigan fighting to pass comprehensive state legislation to prevent regulated monopoly corporations and companies seeking government contracts from making political contributions. We can no longer let them buy their way out of accountability and drown out the voice of the people!

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We are working families fighting for the right to an equal say over what happens in our community. We can no longer allow monopoly corporations and corporations seeking state contracts to buy their way out of accountability and drown out the voice of the people.

We suffer when corporations have undue influence over the elected officials who are supposed to be looking out for us. For example, because for years DTE and Consumers Energy have dumped millions into Lansing to escape accountability, Michiganders pay the highest electric rates in the Midwest for the worst power outages. State governments such as Connecticut, Hawaii, and Georgia and federal agencies such as the Securities Exchange Commission have already passed prohibitions on political spending by monopoly corporations and government contractors.

Passing Taking Back Our Power’s common sense reform would mean Michiganders can finally attain accountable basic services and we can vote with faith that our voice matters. Coalition partners include Clean Water Action, Community Change, Detroit Action, Emergent Justice, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Michigan People's Campaign, MOSES Action, and Voters Not Politicians.


Frequently Asked Questions

What other states and federal agencies have prohibitions on political spending by corporations seeking government contracts or regulated monopoly corporations?

Federal agencies such as the Securities Exchange Commission and 15 states have instituted prohibitions of corporations seeking government contracts from making political contributions. At least eight states have prohibited campaign contributions by certain regulated industries. The laws vary widely in their effectiveness. Taking Back Our Power’s proposed legislation takes the strongest aspects from multiple states to close the loopholes that exist in other laws.


How do regulated monopoly corporations and corporations seeking government contracts profit through outsized political contributions?

In Michigan, regulated monopoly corporations like DTE and Consumers Energy, are regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission, which operates with the legal framework set by the state legislature. The commissioners, who are all appointed by the executive branch, approve or deny all rate increases. Corporations seeking government contracts also directly profit from having outsized influence over our elected officials. Decision-makers from contracting agencies are appointed by elected officials and the agencies are subject to the scrutiny of the legislature. In 2013 for example, Aramark-backed lawmaker John Proos led the push to direct the state agency to privatize prison food service, which was then contracted to Aramark for $145 million. In 2016, Michigan ended that contract early following scandals related to maggots in the kitchen and low-wage Aramark employees smuggling drugs into the prison.


Don’t these corporations need a voice in government too?

These companies can still share their perspectives and any relevant information with electeds through standard lobbying. But they shouldn't be able to wield financial threats to get their way.


Is Taking Back Our Power asking elected officials to stop taking money from monopoly corporations and corporations seeking government contracts?

While we discourage elected officials from accepting corporate contributions, we understand the pressure to accept the money because of the implicit risk that the companies will instead give that money to their opponents’ campaigns. But most elected officials want to be accountable to their constituent voters, not powerful corporations, even if they have accepted donations in the past. We are asking lawmakers to take a stand at this moment by signing onto the Taking Back Our Power Pledge and publicly committing to supporting legislation to take back our power.

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Taking Back Our Power

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We can no longer allow monopoly corporations and corporations seeking state contracts to buy their way out of accountability and drown out the voice of the people!

TAKING BACK OUR POWER is a coalition of working families in Michigan fighting for the right to an equal say over what happens in our community. We suffer when corporations that directly profit from outsized influence over government are allowed to use their political dollars to strong-arm our elected officials. For example, DTE and Consumers Energy have dumped millions into Lansing over the years to escape accountability, and Michiganders pay the highest electric rates in the Midwest for the worst power outages as a result. Unsurprisingly, most of the biggest corporate political donors in Michigan are monopoly corporations, like DTE and Consumers Energy, or corporations seeking state contracts, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.


Because these types of corporations have such direct incentives to strong-arm elected officials with their political dollars and corrode the public trust, Connecticut, Hawaii, Georgia and even federal agencies like the Securities Exchange Commission have already passed prohibitions on political spending by such companies. Passing TAKING BACK OUR POWER’s common sense reform will allow Michiganders to finally attain the accountable utility and essential services we deserve. We will be able to cast our votes knowing that our voices truly matter!

Sign up to attend TAKING BACK OUR POWER’s upcoming events to support our groundbreaking campaign to hold monopoly corporations and companies seeking government contracts accountable. Together, we can ensure fairness and preserve the voice of the people in our democracy. Take action for a better future for all Michiganders!

Upcoming Events

Help Us

Hold

´╗┐Them Accountable

Corporate influence is drowning out our voices and harming our interests. It's time to take action! Get involved with the TAKING BACK OUR POWER campaign and help us empower working families in Michigan to ensure our communities have an equal say in shaping our future. Together, we can reclaim our democracy and secure the services we deserve!

Help Us

Hold

´╗┐Them Accountable

Corporate influence is drowning out our voices and harming our interests. It's time to take action! Get involved with the TAKING BACK OUR POWER campaign and help us empower working families in Michigan to ensure our communities have an equal say in shaping our future. Together, we can reclaim our democracy and secure the services we deserve!


JOIN OUR LIST

Sign up to attend TAKING BACK OUR POWER’s upcoming events to support our groundbreaking campaign to hold monopoly corporations and companies seeking government contracts accountable. Together, we can ensure fairness and preserve the voice of the people in our democracy. Take action for a better future for all Michiganders!

Upcoming Events

We can no longer allow monopoly corporations and corporations seeking state contracts to buy their way out of accountability and drown out the voice of the people!

TAKING BACK OUR POWER is a coalition of working families in Michigan fighting for the right to an equal say over what happens in our community. We suffer when corporations that directly profit from outsized influence over government are allowed to use their political dollars to strong-arm our elected officials. For example, DTE and Consumers Energy have dumped millions into Lansing over the years to escape accountability, and Michiganders pay the highest electric rates in the Midwest for the worst power outages as a result. Unsurprisingly, most of the biggest corporate political donors in Michigan are monopoly corporations, like DTE and Consumers Energy, or corporations seeking state contracts, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.


Because these types of corporations have such direct incentives to strong-arm elected officials with their political dollars and corrode the public trust, Connecticut, Hawaii, Georgia and even federal agencies like the Securities Exchange Commission have already passed prohibitions on political spending by such companies. Passing TAKING BACK OUR POWER’s common sense reform will allow Michiganders to finally attain the accountable utility and essential services we deserve. We will be able to cast our votes knowing that our voices truly matter!