BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate is challenging the way his opponent is funding her campaign.
When Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin announced last year that he would not seek reelection, it opened up a seat he has held since the late 1970s.
The Democrats put forth U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Hills to run for the seat, while Terri Lynn Land, a former Michigan Secretary of State, is running for the Republicans.
The race has so far been less focused on issues than arguments. There have already been disputes about advertisements and the money being poured into the campaign.
Peters’ campaign has long questioned how $3 million of personal wealth was funneled into Land’s campaign. Peters contends that since Land files her taxes separately, her husband cannot contribute that much money to his wife’s campaign.
He says a newspaper analysis of Land’s income taxes suggests she pays a much lower rate than he does.
“What is the total income for the family?” Peters wondered. “Terri Land has put $3 million into her campaign. She has made statements that she’s going to put up to $5 million into her campaign. And yet she shows you she makes $40,000 a year. … I don’t know of any family that makes 40,000 a year, yet has $5 million to put in your campaign. It raises questions because you can only put that kind of money and if it’s your money. A spouse can’t give that kind of money. They’re limited to the $5,200 campaign contribution.”
Land was not available for an interview Tuesday.
Peters spoke with 24 Hour News 8 after touring a Battle Creek assembly plant at part of his campaign’s Great Lakes Jobs Tour.
He also commented on the situation in Iraq. The government there has been battling with Islamic State militants. Iraqi forces backed by U.S. airstrikes retook the Mosul dam – an important strategic point– from the militants this week.
In addition to the airstrikes, the U.S. providing humanitarian aid for religious minority refugees the militant group has been targeting.
Like many of his colleagues, Peters has concerns about the U.S. reinserting itself into the turmoil in Iraq.
“I’m very, very concerned about a slippery slope,” he said.
Peters said he supports protecting American citizens and refugees, but he also says he and his fellow members of the U.S. House need to be kept in the loop about what’s going on there.
“I’m very concerned about what’s next going forward. And the president needs to inform Congress about what’s happening there. What are the moves? What is the strategy there going forward? I’m willing to go back to Washington D.C. today if the president would offer a briefing, or the Department of Defense would have a classified briefing for members of Congress,” he said. “I know that military force is necessary to protect the U.S. citizens, which is the case. And for some strategic interests, you may need to act quickly. But if you’re going to be engaged in a longer-term operation is incumbent on the president of the United States to inform Congress.”
Michigan voters will decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate in 77 days.