September 17, 2009Hon. Mike Cox, Esq.
Attorney General of Michigan
G. Mennen Williams Building, 7th Floor
525 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Attorney General Cox:
I recently read about your commitment to disclosure by candidates for public office and their spouses and applaud the steps you have taken in this regard. Transparency is important for both candidates for, and holders of, elected office and I support your position that all money from lobbyists over $250 should be disclosed.
I’m a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and have started a blog that is covering the race for Governor, among other things. In studying the issues, I came across two non-profit organizations that bear your name. The first, the Attorney General Cox Committee, was formed on January 21, 2003, and is a lobbying organization. The second, called the Mike Cox Pay Kids Foundation, was incorporated on August 6, 2003. It is a tax-deductible, charitable foundation.
Together these organizations have raised and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. I believe your spouse was one of three board members for both organizations, and was the foundation’s treasurer. Much of the spending of these organizations went to pay for advertising that carried your name.
I obtained public record information for these organizations, but cannot find a document that discloses who funded them. Could you ask the boards of these organizations to disclose a list of who contributed to them – above $250?
According to the latest annual reports (2008) filed for these organization, the boards consist of Michael Garavaglia, Shannon Price, and Laura Cox; and Michael Garavaglia, Laura Cox, and Thomas Furtaw, respectively. Your assistance in getting these board members to cooperate in disclosing their sources of funding over $250 will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration.