Week of 5.30.16

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Rainbow Connection Dream Makers Ball

If any of the nearly 250 guests ($250 & up tickets) gathered at the Townsend for Rainbow Connection’s second annual Dream Maker’s Ball wondered why they were there, Wish Ambassador Aidyn dissolved all doubts. The 5-year-old battling leukemia displayed consummate, unabashed joy when he learned that the child-sized Dodge Charger Police Cruiser Mary Anne Alioto had just bought in the live auction would be his. Other heart-tugging moments occurred  during Jeff Hauswirth’s litany of wishes granted last year to kids battling life threatening illness. Especially the 17-year-old who wanted to play golf at Augusta National with his dad. He did. And died shortly afterwards.
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This weeks social light photos…

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Memorializing Morrie

Aaron F. Belen , owner of AFB Hospitality restaurants Bistro 82 and Sabrage , located on the first and second floors of 401 S. Lafayette in Royal Oak, is bringing a new hot spot to downtown Royal Oak with The Morrie , a roadhouse style restaurant at 511 S. Main Street, expected to open by the end of July. Executive chef Derik Watson , who’s been with Belen since the launch of Bistro ...more»
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Sasson expands empire

Jeremy Sasson , the Birmingham owner and restaurateur behind Townhouse Birmingham and Townhouse Detroit , is continuing to spread his wings, developing a steakhouse in the Capitol Park Lofts building at 1145 Griswold Street and State in Detroit, two blocks north of Campus Martius. "It won’t be a steak, potatoes and white tablecloth kind of steakhouse," Sasson said. "It’s like a prime ...more»
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Campaign funding


By Lisa Brody
News Editor
Campaign
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(click for larger version)
06/02/2014 - The saying "money makes the world go round," is especially true in politics. Just as the rich guy may get the pretty girl, very often, it's the person with the deepest pockets and biggest purse who gets the most votes. It's not because they're buying those votes, but because money purchases access to voters, helps acquire credibility and can signal to others that they're a serious candidate.

As we enter another election season, the role money is playing in local elections is just as important as on a national level, and just as in flux. That is because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, McKutcheon v. FEC (Federal Election Commission), that was issued in April 2014, which struck down a decades-old cap on the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year campaign cycle. It is believed that the ruling will increase the role money already plays in American politics, and follows another Supreme Court ruling, from 2010, Citizens United v. FEC. In the Citizens United case, the court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions to campaigns. In essence, it permits PACs – political action committees, to spend as much money as they choose, either for a candidate, or against one, without any limits. And contrary to some interpretations, it is not one-sided. PACs, representing differing electoral ideologies, pour money into candidates and issues on both sides of the aisle.

"We've had some Supreme Court decisions that have really relaxed the rules, and changed those rules, and it's really a new game," noted John Klemanski, a political science professor at Oakland University. "We're going to see a lot more outside money because the Supreme Court basically said anyone who's interested in a race can give as much as they want."

Klemanski explained that in the Citizens United case, the court ruled that any source can spend unlimited amounts of money from any source, provided they were not actually coordinating with the campaign itself.

Jocelyn Benson, dean of the Wayne State University Law School, said this election cycle will realize the full effects of both Supreme Court rulings. "We're now seeing the influx of money coming into Oakland County. There are no requirements (from the rulings) to disclose all of the money coming in," she said. "The only requirements is the money from the PACs cannot be spent directly on the candidates. If money that is spent says specifically 'vote for', 'don't vote for', 'reject', or 'elect', then the ad has to disclose where the money has come from, otherwise they don't have to. If the ad says they're a bad person or a good person, they don't have to disclose anything, like some of the (Mark) Schauer (for governor) ads – 'The Schauer's over.' If they don't mention an election exactly, under Michigan law, they don't have to disclose their funding. It's new this year – (Gov.) Snyder just signed this into law."

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