As the races heat up for Ottawa County’s Board of Commissioners, so is the spending from the candidates and their backers. Where much of the money is coming from is still unclear, however, as a Jenison-based political advocacy group has not yet filed the required documentation with the county.
The deadline for filing campaign finance reports for candidates and political action committees for the period of January-July was due at 5 p.m. Friday, July 22. Nearly all the Republican incumbents seeking re-election for county commissioner met the deadline; their Republican challengers backed by Ottawa Impact did not.
The challengers filed, at least in part, by Monday evening. Ottawa Impact had not filed its financial documents with the county clerk’s office as of 3:45 p.m. Tuesday. The penalty for not filing the completed financial disclosures – which itemize donations as well as expenditures for candidates and PACs – starts at $25 per business day. After three days, the fines increase to $50 a day; after 10 days, they increase to $75 a day with a maximum of $1,000, per the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.
Ottawa Impact was formed in 2021 by parents and residents critical of the state and local government’s response to containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The August primary will determine a large part of the board’s makeup. Of the 11-member commission, 10 are Republicans; Ottawa Impact is fielding candidates for 9 of those 10 seats. Primary-race victors will face Democratic opponents in only three of those nine races, meaning the primary will decide the winner of at least six commission seats.
All of the Ottawa Impact-backed candidates listed donations from Ottawa Impact PAC and its affiliate, Ottawa Impact Education PAC, ranging anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Because the PACs have not filed campaign finance disclosure reports, it is not known where the funding from the group is sourced.
Ottawa Impact raised more than $70,000 through December 2021, the last reporting period for donations and expenditures.
Another PAC, TGIF Victory Fund PAC, made significant contributions to the Ottawa Impact-backed candidates. That group raised more than $100,000 in 2022, primarily from Daniel Hibma, a prominent West Michigan developer and lead supporter in a controversial push to dredge the Grand River in 2019.
The other major donor of the TGIF Victory Fund was Harold Voorhees, a former Kent County commissioner.Source: Holland Sentinel