News from Progress Michigan

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Contact: Jessica Tramontana,, 517-974-6302

LANSING – Yesterday, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership whose head is appointed by the Governor and which is funded by the Michigan Legislature, took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal stating that the passage of controversial “right-to-work” legislation in Michigan was “what happens when Michigan makes history.” Citizens watchdog group Progress Michigan responded by calling for an investigation into an inappropriate and partisan misuse of taxpayer resources.

“I’m disappointed to see a wildly successful tourism campaign wielded as a tool for the right-wing extremists running Lansing,” said Jessica Tramontana, Communications Director of Progress Michigan. “The only history made yesterday was when Gov. Snyder chose to drag the Pure Michigan name through the political mud – and lawmakers responsible for oversight of the Pure Michigan campaign should be ashamed they were asleep at the wheel.”

Gov. Snyder was the first Board Chairman of the MEDC, which later became a favorite target of conservative lawmakers during the Granholm Administration. Since Gov. Snyder took office, those lawmakers have been less interested in oversight. Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) went so far as to tell Michigan Capitol Confidential in November 2012 “I just assumed that after Gov. Snyder came in and made the changes they (MEDC officials) were transparent.”

Reactions to the political ad from Michiganders have been loud and one-sided. In fact, nearly 80 percent of those voting in a Detroit Free Press online poll chose “I think it’s a bad idea” for the state to tie the new RTW law to the Pure Michigan campaign. 

One report indicated the rate for a full-page color ad in the Wall Street Journal is $55,221 a day.



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