Michigan: Dow Chemical PAC Aids Amash and Bentivolio Challengers

Photograph by Norm Betts/Bloomberg

The Dow Chemical Co. hydro carbon production facility.

Dow Chemical Co., one of Michigan’s biggest employers, is aiding primary challengers to Republican Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio with campaign contributions through its political action committee.

Dow Chemical’s PAC sent $2,500 on Nov. 20 to Brian Ellis, a businessman challenging Amash in the 3rd District in and around Grand Rapids, and the same amount the same day to David Trott, a lawyer taking on Bentivolio in the 11th District near Detroit.

The donations were disclosed in a report the PAC filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

Amash, who has libertarian views aligned with former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, has attracted attention partly for bucking Republican leaders on votes and for posting explanations of his votes on his Facebook page. He opposed John Boehner’s re-election as House speaker in January and led an unsuccessful charge to limit the National Security Agency’s ability to collect telephone and Internet data.

Amash and Ellis sparred on a radio program last month over the two-term congressman’s voting record.

Dow Chemical’s PAC donation to Trotter may be less surprising. Bentivolio, a political novice, “was never the choice of the Republican establishment” and won his seat last year only after Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter “resigned over a scandal involving fraudulent re-election petition signatures,” according to a Detroit Free Press story last month that referred to Bentivolio as an “accidental congressman.”

Trott raised about $649,000 through September, including more than $208,000 from his personal funds.

Political Capital contacted Dow Chemical for comment and will update this post if a response is received.

Midland-based Dow Chemical is one of Michigan’s biggest private employers, with about 54,000 employees as of 2012 and $56.6 billion in revenue in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, according to Bloomberg Government data.

The company’s PAC sent $5,000 on Nov. 20 to Terri Lynn Land, a former Michigan Secretary of State who’s the leading Republican candidate for the seat of retiring Democrat Carl Levin.

Dow Chemical’s PAC donated $2,000 to Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in late March, a few weeks before he announced his candidacy for the Senate.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!