MLive Headline: James Craig Paying More Than $900 Per Day for Armed Guards in Unusual Campaign Expense
Despite not holding any “large, public” campaign events since September, James Craig has managed to spend “nearly $34,000” on “executive protection services” according to a new report by MLive. Seasoned political operatives have described the nearly $1,000-a-day expense as an “unusual use of donor dollars.”
The company Craig’s campaign is contracting with – Shield Security Consultants and Protection Services – has both a personal connection to Craig and coincidental timeline. Owner Mark A. Oliver formerly worked at Detroit Police Department in executive protection services during Craig’s chief tenure. Additionally Shield Security got licensed to operate “a day after the Craig campaign made its first payment to the company.”
MLive noted that other former law enforcement officials that ran for statewide office, such as Attorneys General Bill Schuette (2018) and Mike Cox (2010) did not “list any security or executive protection expenses.”
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“As with his paid speaking company and plum board placements, James Craig’s campaign is once again facing scrutiny. Craig rarely appears at public events – instead, he favors national cable news appearances from the comfort of his own home over meeting with Michiganders – and yet he’s managed to spend tens of thousands of dollars on ‘unusual’ security.”
MLive: James Craig paying more than $900 per day for armed guards in unusual campaign expense
By Emily Lawler
Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig has spent nearly $34,000 of his campaign funds on security, something veteran politicos say is an unusual use of donor dollars even for a high-profile former law enforcement official.
“I’ve never had a candidate that required security and I have had a sheriff and I’ve had two district attorneys that on the campaign side of things, didn’t have a security detail,” said Jason Roe, principal of campaign and communications consulting firm Roe Strategies.
Campaign finance records show Craig’s campaign made two payments totaling $33,862 to the Southfield-based Shield Security Consultants and Protection Services, LLC for “executive protection services.” The payments amount to a bit over $915 per day from when they started to the end of the reporting period.
It was one of his biggest expense categories, behind more typical expenses like political consultants and renting list of potential donors for fundraising.
Craig campaign spokesperson Ted Goodman said the high cost was due to high-quality security. […]
“Unlike most candidates who have an unarmed driver or body man, Chief Craig works with armed former police officers, which comes at a higher cost. This involves physical protection, intelligence gathering and facilitating and coordinating additional security, as necessary.”
Despite that protection, Craig hasn’t been doing large, public events. His campaign’s Facebook page hasn’t created an event since promoting a round of Upper Peninsula visits in September.
Shield Security Consultants and Protection Services is a new company. It was created earlier this year and licensed through the state as a security company on Sept. 15, a day after the Craig campaign made its first payment to the company.
The company is owned by Mark A. Oliver, according the state records. According to a LinkedIn profile, Oliver worked for a long time in executive protection at the Detroit Police Department, including when Craig would have been chief. […]
Oliver did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the company. A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department declined to disclose Oliver’s dates of employment, directing MLive to file a Freedom of Information Act request instead.
Craig isn’t the first law enforcement official to run for governor. Campaign finance filings from former Attorney General Bill Schuette’s 2018 run, former Attorney General Mike Cox’s 2010 run and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard’s 2010 run do not list any security or executive protection expenses. […]