Buying Time 2016 - Michigan

This page features campaign advertisements from Michigan's 2016 state supreme court elections.

May 8, 2017

Two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court were up for election on November 8, 2016. In Michigan, candidates are nominated through a partisan process and elected through a general election in which party affiliation does not appear on the ballot. Judges serve eight year terms. A total of six candidates ran for two seats. Incumbent Justice David Viviano defeated Judge Frank S. Syzmanski and attorney Doug Dern for a full eight year term. Justice Joan Larson, who was appointed in 2015, ran in a contested election to complete the unfinished term of her predecessor Mary Beth Kelly. She defeated Deborah Thomas and attorney Kerry L. Morgan for the two year term. 

The Brennan Center used multiple sources for spending information, which showed the following: 

Kantar Media/CMAG: Estimated Total TV Spending: $2,715,890*

  • Estimated spending by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce: $2,217,970
  • Estimated spending by David Viviano and Joan Larsen: $357,490
  • Estimated spending by the Michigan Republican Party: $140,430

*Kantar Media/CMAG estimates last updated on May 8, 2017

FCC Contracts: Recorded TV Contracts: $1,530,663*

  • Television ad buys recorded for Michigan Chamber of Commerce: $510,190
  • Television ad buys recorded for David Viviano and Joan Larsen: $626,394
  • Television ad buys recorded for Michigan Republican Party: $401,979

*Recorded ad buys last updated on November 2, 2016

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October 31 - Appeal Denied

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Larsen and Viviano "keep violent criminals behind bars."

Sponsor: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $425,630


October 26 - Rule of Law

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Larsen and Viviano "believe in protecting our children from sexual predators."

Sponsor: Michigan Republican Party

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $140,430


October 19 - Values We Follow

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad highlights Larsen and Viviano's values and respect for the law.

Sponsor: Joan Larsen and David Viviano

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $357,490


October 19 - Testimonials

Stream Video (QT)  | Download Storyboard

This ad praises Larsen and Viviano for being tough on crime and following the rule of law.

Sponsor: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $1,792,340