Non-profit

Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity

Website:

www.mieconomicprosperity.org

Type:

Michigan Healthcare Advocacy Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Formation:

2018

Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity (MFEP) is a Democratic-aligned “dark money” advocacy group that was active in the 2018 election cycle, campaigning against incumbent Republican U.S. House members. The group is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a funding and fiscal sponsorship organization for left-progressive electoral and lobbying projects managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors. [1]

The Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity is operated through by The Hub Project, “an opaquely named Democratic organization” that spent nearly $30 million in the 2018 election cycle “pressuring members of Congress in their districts.”

Hub Project

Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity was operated through the Hub Project (also a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund)“an opaquely named Democratic organization” that the New York Times reported “controls the money flowing from the Sixteen Thirty Fund into the state-level groups.” [2] It reported that the Hub Project directed nearly $30 million in the 2018 election cycle “pressuring members of Congress in their districts.” Run by former campaign aides for President Barack Obama, the Hub Project formed groups “with vaguely sympathetic names”  and then “used them to mobilize volunteers and run advertising on policy issues against Republican members of Congress many months before the election.” [3]

Targeted Seats

As a dark money organization, MFEP was not required to reveal the amount or source of its funding. In the 2018 midterm Congressional elections, MFEP rans television and print advertisements opposing the re-election bids of Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Michael Bishop (R-MI) and criticizing them for opposing Medicare expansion and Obamacare. [4] MFEP travelled throughout the state with puppets resembling both Upton and Bishop, named “Corporate Puppet Upton” and “Corporate Puppet Bishop,” holding parody town halls. [5] At Halloween, the puppets handed out sugar -free mints to voters, while showering “donors” with large candy bars and peanut butter cups. [6]

Upton would win re-election in 2018 by his closest margin ever in 17 terms, narrowly defeating Democrat Matt Longjohn 50-46 percent. [7] Bishop lost to Democrat Elissa Slotkin, 51 percent to 47 percent. [8]

References

  1. Malachi Barrett. “Left-leaning ‘dark money’ network poured millions into Michigan elections.” MLive.com. Nov 27, 2019. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2019/11/left-leaning-dark-money-network-poured-millions-into-michigan-elections.html. ^
  2. Alexander Burns. “With $30 Million, Obscure Democratic Group Floods the Zone in House Races.” New York Times. Oct. 31, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/us/politics/democrats-dark-money-midterms.html. ^
  3. Alexander Burns. “With $30 Million, Obscure Democratic Group Floods the Zone in House Races.” New York Times. Oct. 31, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/us/politics/democrats-dark-money-midterms.html. ^
  4. Malachi Barrett. “Left-leaning ‘dark money’ network poured millions into Michigan elections.” MLive.com. Nov 27, 2019. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2019/11/left-leaning-dark-money-network-poured-millions-into-michigan-elections.html. ^
  5. Malachi Barret. “Puppet versions of Michigan congressmen host parody town halls.” MLive.com. Aug 29, 2017. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2017/08/puppet_versions_of_michigan_co.html. ^
  6. “‘Corporate Puppet’ Upton Hands out Candy for Halloween.” Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity. Nov. 1, 2018. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.mieconomicprosperity.org/news/corporate-puppet-upton-hands-out-candy-for-halloween/ ^
  7. Malachi Barrett. “Fred Upton wins re-election to 17th term in Michigan’s 6th District.” MLive.com. Nov. 7, 2018. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2018/11/upton_longjohn_mi06_result.html. ^
  8. Melissa Nann Burke. “Bishop concedes to Slotkin in closely watched 8th District.” Detroit News. Nov. 7, 2018. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/
    politics/elections/2018/11/06/michigan-house-eighth-district-bishop-slotkin-race-results-winner/1719698002/
    . ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. Health Care Voter
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