Political watchdog group wants state Senate candidates to disclose finances

The political watchdog group Campaign Legal Center has filed two complaints naming several US Senate hopefuls from Michigan who haven’t disclosed their personal finances.

"You need to care about this as a voter because you are in the dark," said Kedric Payne of the CLC. "What’s going on is a large percentage of those who are running for senate have not followed the basic rule of providing their financial disclosure statement so the voters can know who they’re voting for."

Payne is the Campaign Legal Center's vice president and senior director of ethics.

The CLC claims Detroit-based actor and entrepreneur turned politician Hill Harper intentionally left out details about his personal finances from acting and other properties.

"The situation with Hill Harper is most troubling," Payne said. "That is the one that could be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal penalties. We have someone who is not reporting their income and their assets that are reflected in other sources."

FOX 2 reached out to Harper and his campaign but we are still waiting on a response.

From the nearly 20 people running for US Senator Debbie Stabenow’s seat, the CLC's second complaint says the Senate Ethics Committee should investigate seven other candidates — including Dearborn businessman Nasser Beydoun and former state legislator Peter Meijer.

A spokesperson from Meijer’s campaign sent this statement to FOX 2, saying:

"Mr. Meijer will be filing a complete and accurate personal financial disclosure in the near future, accompanied by the $200 fee for filing late. We are currently working to ensure the accuracy of reporting his complex holdings."

"If you don’t know what potential conflict of interests are for the person you’re voting for, you don’t know where they may have some ties or fraudulent activity in their background, then you are at a disadvantage," Payne said.

The Campaign Legal Center is asking the candidates in question to respond to the Senate Ethics Committee, as well as, to call on the committee to enforce the rules. 

From left, candidates Peter Meijer (R), Nasser Beydoun (D), and Hill Harper (D).