The recent storm of anti-Proposal 2 ads have generated a strong reaction, both in those opposing them and those running them. Prop 2, you’ll remember, establishes a right to collective bargaining in the Michigan Constitution after 2 years of legislative attacks designed to neuter public sector unions.
The ads hammering Proposal 2 are paid for by two Grand Rapids front groups, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, created by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, created by the West Michigan Policy Forum, which is in turn financed by the DeVos family and several of Michigan’s biggest corporations. PMT’s purpose? Right to Work.
PMT filed as a Political Action Committee, but made a sleazy filing where it reported several debts related to their ads (produced in Washington DC), but no revenues, effectively dodging the campaign finance law’s reporting requirements. PMT is actually a DBA for Michigan Alliance For Business Growth, another WMPF creation, a IRS 501 (c)(4), which uses that status to avoid disclosing its funders to the IRS.
The controversy over these ads include the decision by TV stations across Michigan to run them even though they include provable lies. The clearest case is the ad that warns that teacher strikes will be common if Proposal 2 passes, even though the proposal itself says they can’t:
The stations that run these lies have taken a lot of heat, more than is being reported. One station, WMKG in Muskegon received over 500 letters and didn’t like it. The station owner, Bud Kelly, wrote back:
Forgetting the station’s owner’s duty to his customers, his abusive attitude toward them or his questionable ability to take criticism while entering a political fray, what about his FCC license and its equal time regulations?
If this really annoys you, you could just buy the station on eBay.