The Macomb Daily on the Phil Hart Democratic Club 'Making a Mockery' of the Bingo Act with Attacks against another Democrat

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By Jameson Cook, 7/11/18

Political smears in the Democratic primary for Macomb clerk have ratcheted up with the two most high-profile candidates or their proxies exchanging jabs.

State Sen. Steve Bieda this week filed a complaint with the Michigan Lottery questioning the legality of the Philip A. Hart Democratic Club staging bingo games to raise money in part to help one of Bieda’s opponents, Fred Miller.

Bieda, D-Warren, said the games violate federal law that bans political organizations from conducting charitable bingos.

“The Philip A. Hart Democratic Club has made a mockery of the Act by using funds derived from bingo games to finance blatantly political advertising,” Bieda said.

He contends the Mount Clemens-based organization avoids regulation under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act via “extremely narrow, technical grounds” by not using the words “express advocacy.”

Steve Bieda