LANSING — Since James Craig announced his retirement on May 10th, he’s been operating an all-but-officially-declared campaign for governor, masquerading as a candidate while hiding behind his unofficial status to dodge tough questions about where he stands on the issues for months.
Now, new reporting from Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News indicates that even those in Craig’s party are starting to take notice. Yesterday, former MIGOP executive director Jeff Timmer “filed a complaint Monday with Michigan’s Secretary of State’s Office alleging Craig has been campaigning illegally” in clear violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.
In speaking with Freep, Timmer argued that the boundaries the Act sets up for candidates “are simple.” From the moment a candidate “spend[s] or receiv[es] the first dollar towards their campaign,” they have 10 days to set up a committee to be compliant with the law.
Timmer noted that at this point Craig is way outside that timeframe, using gas and internet to facilitate his shadow campaign operations, and even going so far to brazenly arrive “at political events surrounded by consultants and staff that are certainly being compensated (or will be compensated — and the law makes no exception for that).”
Two of Craig’s main shadow staffers, consultants John Yob and Ted Goodman — the latter of which is identified in this piece as “Craig’s press liaison” — have described themselves as a private citizen “volunteer” and an “informal adviser” respectively for weeks.
And ahead of his arrival in Kent County to deliver a speech, FOX 17 reported that Craig unveiled “a new ‘Chief James Craig’ campaign logo.”
“Anyone with a sense of time can see the shady activity James Craig and his pack of consultants have been engaging in for months — all to avoid being held accountable by Michiganders on where he stands on the issues,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “Look no further than his softball gauntlet of nearly 30 national network appearances since May and dress rehearsal events across Michigan where he’s delivered poll-tested lines off multiple teleprompters. Craig clearly enjoys being in front of cameras but is worried about the scrutiny that comes with being a candidate — getting immediately whisked away by Lansing consultants into black SUVs and emergency exits after his speeches to dodge questions from both local reporters and voters. There’s no doubt his political activity since May has certainly tripped the one dollar threshold, and we look forward to what the secretary of state’s office uncovers as they investigate the extent of Craig’s active negligence for law and order.”