Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 (517) 999-3646

Group that disrupted health care town halls now wants to block billions of dollars from going to help Michigan families

LANSING – ProgressMichigan today blasted the extremist Americans for Prosperity’s attack ads, saying the front group’s campaign is designed to block billions of dollars from bringing relief to Michigan’s struggling families. The Washington, DC-based group linked to the tobacco and oil and gas industries unveiled today TV ads attacking Gov. Granholm—ads designed to defeat solutions to resolving the state’s $2.8-billion deficit that threatens critical services that help families, create jobs and helps build a better future for all Michigan families.

“The special interests are scrambling to protect their profits, even if it means choking Michigan families and putting our future at risk,” Progress Michigan Executive Director David Holtz said. “Michigan faces one of the worst budget crises in generations. We need to fix our finances now so we can invest in our citizens tomorrow and into the future.”

Information on Americans for Prosperity, founded in 2003 by the tobacco industry, is at

The shadowy umbrella organization representing powerful corporate and special interests has launched a campaign in Michigan aimed at preventing common-sense efforts to fix Michigan’s broken financial structure. Because of Michigan’s outdated finances, the state lurches from deficit to deficit every year in a cycle of debt, with not enough revenue generated to pay for critical services, from public safety and health care to schools, senior services and road and bridges.

A growing number of citizens, groups and economists have begun calling for Michigan to restructure its finances to reflect a commitment to critical priorities, such as protecting services for families, creating jobs, strengthening roads and bridges and building a better future. Important steps to help fix Michigan’s finances and end the cycle of debt include closing tax loopholes and ending corporate giveaways for companies that do not create Michigan jobs, a move that could generate more than $600 million a year. Many of the hundreds of tax loopholes have been in place for decades, without being reviewed.

More economists and citizens are also calling on the state government to review its contracts – currently about $16 billion a year – to save taxpayer dollars and improve efficiency, and making these contracts available online for the public to review.

“The best way to move Michigan forward is to end the unfair free ride that has put billions of dollars into the pockets of powerful special interests for decades and start putting Michigan families first,” Holtz said. “The families of Michigan will not let special interests stand in the way of our future.”


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