Over the weekend, the Grand Rapids Press reported that Representative Vern Ehlers provided them with a list of donors that he had previously refused to disclose. Ehlers is currently raising the funds to pay for a portrait of Ehlers that will be hung in a committee room in the U.S. Capitol.
However, while the Grand Rapids Press praised this “disclosure”, Ehlers has still not fully disclosed the donors. He is still refusing to release the amounts that donors have contributed–saying only that the maximum contribution was $5,000–and has not posted the list on his website, instead providing it only to The Grand Rapids Press, a media outlet that has long supported Ehlers.
According to the Press, the donors include:
- Dan and Pam DeVos
- Richard and Helen DeVos
- Doug and Maria DeVos
- Terri Lynn Land
- Fred and Lena Meijer
- Norma and Lewis Van Kuiken
- The Secchia Family Foundation
- The Frey Foundation
Many of these folks are long-time supporters of Vern Ehlers according to OpenSecrets.org. Pam and Dan DeVos have given over $20,000 to Ehlers, Richard and Helen DeVos have given over $19,000, and Norma and Lewis Van Kuiken over $7,000.
Ehlers has said that he should not be criticized, saying “Instead of criticizing me, folks should be saying, ‘He’s doing it the way it should be done, with folks back home raising money for him.”
However, the portrait is being funded by the wealthy, white folks that have traditionally supported him and benefited from the policies that he has supported in Congress.