RELEASE: LEONARD CAMPAIGN CASH SHOWS SPECIAL INTEREST FUELED CAMPAIGN

Campaign contributions to Leonard’s committee show Lansing pay-to-play politics at its worst

DETROIT, MI. — An analysis of Tom Leonard’s recent financial filing shows a troubling pattern of pay-to-play politics all too-common in Lansing. According to the most recent campaign report filed with the Secretary of State on September 25,  more than half of Tom Leonard’s campaign contributions originate from special interests, including PACS and chemical and financial company executives.

“It’s easy to understand why Tom Leonard consistently sides with special interests over the people of Michigan - these interests are funding his political career because they want someone in the attorney general’s office who will do their bidding, over the health and wellbeing of Michiganders," said Nessel. "We know we can’t trust Tom Leonard because he’s already sided with special interests over the working families of Michigan.”

The report (which can be found online here: https://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls.cgi) show that Tom Leonard has taken more than $760,000  from special interests, including PACS and chemical and financial company executives. Those contributions can also be found below.

Dana Nessel is a career prosecutor and civil rights attorney with decades of experience trying cases in Michigan. She spent more than 10 years at the Wayne Co. Prosecutor’s office, working in the Child and Family Abuse Bureau and on the Police Conduct Review Team. In her private practice she focused on family law, civil rights, forfeiture, criminal law, and indigent defense. Dana Nessel spearheaded the DeBoer v. Snyder case, which joined Obergefell v. Hodges and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Dana is founder and president of the Fair Michigan Justice Project which investigates and prosecutes hate crimes and currently has a 100% conviction rate. Dana lives in Plymouth with her wife Alanna and her twin teenaged sons.
More information about Dana can be found at dana2018.com.

You can find a full list of those contributions here.


RELEASE: LEONARD CAMPAIGN CASH SHOWS CANDIDATE BOUGHT AND SOLD BY INSURANCE AND DRUG INDUSTRY

Nessel calls on Leonard to return dirty money from big insurance and drug companies

DETROIT, MI. — An analysis of Tom Leonard’s recent financial filing shows a troubling pattern of pay-to-play politics all too-common in Lansing. According to the most recent campaign report filed with the Secretary of State on September 25 Tom Leonard has taken 17 contributions to his committee from Michigan’s drug and insurance companies.

“Leonard has always sided with the drug and insurance industry over the people of Michigan. He voted against Medicaid expansion, opposes protecting pre-existing conditions, and he fell in line with national Republicans to take away healthcare coverage for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Nessel.“Tom Leonard is in the pocket of big drug and insurance companies, taking tens of thousands of dollars from them while voting to give them tax breaks and allowing them to charge you more for coverage and prescription drugs. We cannot trust him to protect Michiganders’ access to affordable, high-quality health care.”

The report (which can be found online here: https://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls.cgi) show that just in the last year Tom Leonard has taken more than $34,000 from just 9 insurance companies and drug companies.

Dana Nessel is a career prosecutor and civil rights attorney with decades of experience trying cases in Michigan. She spent more than 10 years at the Wayne Co. Prosecutor’s office, working in the Child and Family Abuse Bureau and on the Police Conduct Review Team. In her private practice she focused on family law, civil rights, forfeiture, criminal law, and indigent defense. Dana Nessel spearheaded the DeBoer v. Snyder case, which joined Obergefell v. Hodges and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Dana is founder and president of the Fair Michigan Justice Project which investigates and prosecutes hate crimes and currently has a 100% conviction rate. Dana lives in Plymouth with her wife Alanna and her twin teenaged sons.

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Editorial: Dana Nessel will proactively protect people's rights as Attorney General

LSJ Editorial Board | Lansing State Journal, October 8

Michigan Attorney General candidates Tom Leonard and Dana Nessel see the AG Office’s role in starkly different terms.

Leonard defines the attorney general as the state’s attorney, providing counsel for the governor and others on the rule of law and the state Constitution.

Nessel defines the attorney general as the people’s attorney, focused on taking on fights in the best interest of all Michiganders.

For that difference alone, the LSJ Editorial Board endorses Nessel for attorney general.

RELEASE: Leonard campaign cash shows Lansing pay-to-play politics at its worst

DETROIT, MI. — An analysis of Tom Leonard’s recent financial filing shows a troubling pattern of pay-to-play politics all too-common in Lansing. According to the most recent campaign report filed with the Secretary of State on September 25 Tom Leonard has taken more than 30 contributions from Michigan’s worst polluters: Dow Chemical, Wolverine World Wide, and 3M.

“It’s easy to understand why Tom Leonard consistently sides with polluters over the people of Michigan - these special interests are funding his political career because they want someone in the attorney general’s office who will do their bidding, over the health and wellbeing of Michiganders," said Nessel. "We know we can’t trust Tom Leonard because he’s already sided with special interest polluters over the working families of Michigan.”

The report which can be found online here: https://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls.cgi show that just in the last year Tom Leonard has taken more than $65,000 from just 32 chemical CEOs, top executives, and lobbyists. Those contributions can also be found below.

“While Tom Leonard was busy lining his politics with campaign cash from polluters, I’ve been meeting with people from around the state who want clean water for their families and want the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute these polluters, not be beholden to them,” Nessel said.

RELEASE: Michigan Assoc. of Police Organizations Endorses Dana Nessel for Michigan AG

DETROIT, MI. — The Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO), the largest independent organization representing Michigan police officers, has endorsed Dana Nessel for Michigan Attorney General. MAPO currently has more than 9,000 members represented by the Police Officers Labor Council, Detroit Police Officers Association, Michigan State Police Troopers Association, Michigan Association of Police, Detroit Police Lieutenants & Sergeants Association, Grand Rapids Police Officers Association, Michigan State Police Command Officers Association, Warren Police Officers Association, Warren Police Command Officers Association, Detroit Police Command Officers Association, Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers Association, Kalamazoo Police Supervisors Association, Grand Rapids Command Officers Association

“For too many elected officials, actions don’t match words. The ongoing attacks on the benefits of police officers outweigh any kind words of support uttered on the campaign trail,” said Rob Figurski, President of MAPO. “The constant assault is creating huge problems in recruitment and this ultimately will harm our ability to deliver public safety services. We look forward to working with an Attorney General who values the tough work our members do to keep Michigan and its citizens safe.”

The Michigan Association of Police Organizations is a coalition of groups formed for the purpose of assisting in promoting and introducing of legislation which could impact upon the Michigan public safety community and or the criminal justice system.

"I am honored to have the support of so many of the men and women of Michigan’s law enforcement community. During my more than 10 years as a prosecutor I worked hand-in-hand with with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute some our most dangerous and violent criminals,” said Nessel. “These brave men and women have tough jobs and they deserve a tough attorney general who will support them and understand the important role they play in our criminal justice system.”

Dana Nessel has also been endorsed by the Wayne County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Bill Schuette does have guts... when it's convenient

DailyKos | By Alonso del Arte, September 18

In any case, Michigan law is very clear about the pensions of public employees who are convicted of crimes in violation of the public trust. In this one instance, Schuette could honestly say he was just following the law.

Supposedly Schuette was also following the law when he squared off against Dana Nessel in court over gay rights. But the law in question was a somewhat recent amendment to the state constitution approved by the voters, and the voters’ views have evolved since then…

Nessel, by the way, is the Democratic nominee for attorney general. Ignoring parties for a minute, I want an attorney general who wins in court. So vote for Dana Nessel in November.

The Most Effective Way for Democrats to Fight Trump’s Agenda Isn’t Where You Think It Is

Mother Jones | By Samantha Michaels, September 14

In Michigan, another tossup state, Democrat Dana Nessel, an openly gay attorney from Detroit, is up against Republican Tom Leonard, a member of the state House who touts his anti-abortion voting record. (Nessel’s #MeToo-inspired campaign ad went viral last year when she asked, “Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting? Is it the candidate who doesn’t have a penis?”) In Ohio, which is one of the more expensive campaigns, Democrats have slammed the Republican candidate, State Auditor Dave Yost, for his handling of the ECOT charter school scandalthat cost the state tens of millions of dollars—he took political donations from the school and spoke at its graduation ceremony. “Yost had his arm around those executives,” says Rankin of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “He was more concerned about his political career than taking care of families and kids in Ohio.”

Democratic attorney general, SOS candidates lead Republicans in new poll

The Detroit News | By Beth LeBlanc, September 11

Democratic candidates for attorney general and secretary of state are leading Republicans by double-digit margins, but name recognition for all Michigan hopefuls in the races is minimal, according to a new statewide poll.

Democratic Plymouth attorney Dana Nessel led Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard of DeWitt 42 percent to 29 percent, while Democrat Jocelyn Benson is ahead of Republican Mary Treder Lang 44 percent to 29 percent, according to the Glengariff Group survey.

The Detroit News and WDIV-TV commissioned the Sept. 5-7 poll of 600 likely voters that had a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points.

Barney Frank Comes to Michigan in Support of Dana Nessel

Pride Source | By Kate Opalewski, August 29

The most prominent gay politician in the U.S., Barney Frank, will be the special guest at an LGBTQ fundraiser for Dana Nessel, Democratic candidate for attorney general, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6 at the home of Jason Misleh, 18695 Fairfield in Detroit.

“I am humbled and honored to have Rep. Barney Frank, an icon of Congress, support my candidacy for Michigan attorney general,” said Nessel, who like Frank, if elected, will make history in the state as Michigan’s first openly gay statewide office holder.
Frank, who came out as gay in 1987 as a member of Congress, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013.

“Also like Rep. Frank,” Nessel said. “I intend to use the office to support the LGBTQ community while simultaneously protecting the civil liberties of all our state’s residents, including members of our most vulnerable minority groups who so badly need a state actor committed to protecting them from discrimination.”

Nessel said she wants people to understand that equal protection is not a “zero-sum game.” “When one group of people gain more rights, others do not lose their rights. We are all Michiganders, we are all Americans, and everyone in our great state is entitled to equal protection under the law,” Nessel said. “Barney Frank has always understood this notion. I hope to follow his lead as the top law enforcement official of Michigan.”

Michigan Dems make it official with Dana Nessel as AG candidate

MLive | By Emily Lawler, August 26

The Michigan Democratic Party on Sunday solidified an earlier endorsement, nominating Dana Nessel as its candidate for Attorney General.

Nessel rose to prominence in Michigan by challenging the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, ultimately winning at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

Nessel said she admired the term of longtime former Attorney General Frank Kelley, who she said stood up for Michigan residents. Republicans who have controlled the office have trampled on regular people "to serve their corporate masters," Nessel said.

By contrast she said she would fight for people, including by shutting down Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac, bringing justice to Flint and holding corporations accountable.

"I will protect the rights of each and every person in this state... we are all Michiganders, we are all Americans, and we are all deserving of equal protection under the law," Nessel said.

Joe Biden Endorses Dana Nessel for Michigan Attorney General

MLive | By Lauren Gibbons, August 21

Former Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Dana Nessel for Attorney General, her campaign announced Tuesday.

In a statement released by the campaign, Biden said he supports Nessel because "she is a problem solver with the drive and the experience that Michigan needs in an Attorney General." 

"State attorneys general are critical to protecting our democracy and we need to elect leaders that people can trust to put their needs first - that is why I am committed to helping Dana Nessel win in November," he said. 

Biden has endorsed Democrats in a handful of Michigan races, supporting Congressional candidates Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer

Nessel is the presumptive Democratic nominee for attorney general after winning the party endorsement over Pat Miles at an April convention. Official nominations for Attorney General, Secretary of State and other state offices will be decided at the party's nominating convention Aug. 25 and 26 in East Lansing. 

On the Republican side, state House speaker Tom Leonard and state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker are both running for Attorney General. The Republican nominating convention will take place in Lansing Saturday, Aug. 25. 

Key Michigan Union Endorses Dana Nessel For State Attorney General

The Huffington Post | By Daniel Marans, August 20

Michigan’s most influential labor union on Monday endorsed Dana Nessel, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general.

The move by the United Automobile Workers marks a crucial step toward the unification of the Democratic Party following a bruising nomination battle in which the union backed former United States Attorney Pat Miles, a centrist, over the more progressive Nessel.

“An Attorney General needs to be fearless in protecting the labor rights and civil rights of UAW members and Michiganders,” said Frank Stuglin, director of UAW’s Region 1, which includes Detroit and neighboring areas. “Dana wasn’t afraid to take on these tough fights as an attorney. And Dana Nessel will stand up for the rights of all people, not just the well-connected.”