The donation vs. endorsements talk

Pictures of Money / Flickr
Pictures of Money / Flickr

- If you are a Republican running for office in Michigan, eventually you will cross paths with the family that has a huge stash of cash. Talk to Brian Calley, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush because they have benefited from some of the DeVos family wealth, but not without some serious strings attached.

Item: A member of the family hosted a fund raiser for lt. governor Calley who is running for governor. But the family made it very clear that the event had nothing to do with the 2018 race. The event was to honor his work in his current position; nothing more nothing less.

Of course once the word got out, the news media immediately tried to put two and two together to turn it into an endorsement story.

But it was quickly learned that the family is staying on the sidelines for now. But it would not be surprised if Mr. Calley tried to make some political hay by perhaps giving the impression to others that the donation had something to do with his future plans.

Item: On the GOP presidential front, the DeVos family made equal contributions to the Rubio and Bush campaigns taking great pains to explain that they were neutral. The word was the candidates should not infer that it was an endorsement, implied or otherwise.

But an insider reports, the freshman Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio tried to turn it into something it was not. And he may not know it, but he did that at great risk.

"They (the Devos contributors) were miffed," a source reveals. What the newcomer will eventually discover is that he goes back to the same cupboard, it will be bare.

His unwise move was a shortterm gain for a longterm loss.

On the other hand, the more experienced Bush folks, with a long-term relationship with the family, followed the rules, took the donation and did not try to parlay it into more cash from other folks.

Assuming the former Florida governor is still around in the new year, his return trip to the cupboard may well be rewarded.

How a candidate deals with major funders is key to success. It's a delicate relationship that must be based on trust.

And if that bond is broken, look out.


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