Kilpatrick use of campaign funds to pay legal bills illegal, says AG Cox

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act when he used money from his campaign committee to pay legal fees related to his defense of perjury and obstruction of justice charges, said Attorney General Mike Cox.

In a 26-page opinion, Cox wrote that the expenses stemmed from charges “that originate from personal activity unrelated to performing the functions of the public official’s office[.]”

The opinion was requested by State Sen. Gilda Jacobs (D – Huntington Woods).

Cox is regarded as one of the frontrunners in the race to be the Republican candidate in the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial race.

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It’s good to be an MSC chief justice seeking re-election . . .

. . . just ask Cliff Taylor. Or better yet, check out his campaign finance filings.

record-breaking contributions to his re-election campaign.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor: campaign contributions are rolling in.

According to information collected by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Taylor has raised more than $1.4 million this year, “setting a new record for a Michigan Supreme Court candidate’s campaign committee.”

The Michigan Republic Party takes the lead on a list of Taylor’s top contributors, followed by everyone else you’d expect: the Prince/Devos family, groups representing business concerns, restaurant operators, realtors, insurers, banks, the medical profession, and Dykema Gossett.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Democratic Party, staring hard at the Sept. 5 kickoff date for their state party convention, is still scrambling for a top court candidate to nominate and shower with money.

The party’s unfruitful search for someone to square off with Taylor has been well-reported, and has prompted Susan J. Demas, blogging in Capitol Chronicles, to suggest that the “obvious choice” has been in front of the Democrats all along. Check out her tongue-in-cheek suggestion that MDP Chair Mark Brewer should go for it.