Michigan Truth Squad

For too long some Michigan politicians and their consultants have stretched the truth, broken trust with citizens, and ignored the consequences of the things they say. The result is undue mistrust in our political process, one that is ultimately controlled by citizens – ideally informed citizens like you who are taking the time to learn about the issues and the people who represent them in our representative democracy.

The Michigan Truth Squad is a reporting project of Bridge Magazine and The Center for Michigan. Each analysis is produced by the staff of Bridge Magazine and freelancers with deep experience in state politics and policy. Our Truth Squad team has more than 100 years of combined experience as journalists covering Michigan politics, public policy, and current events.

Spread the word – we’re ready to blow the whistle on Michigan politics.


Ad portraying Gary Peters as cozy with criminals gets Flagrant Foul

October 14, 2014 | Bridge Staff

This Super PAC ad suggests that the Democratic Senate candidate knowingly accepted campaign contributions from convicted felons. He did not.

Foul on ad pinning government shutdowns solely on Mike Bishop

October 14, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Mike Bishop drew plenty of flack for his role in two government shutdowns when he was state Senate Majority Leader. But this ad for Eric Schertzing, Bishop’s Democratic opponent in a race for Congress, ignores the roles of then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm and House leader Andy Dillon in the standoffs.

Schauer gets two Truth Squad warnings and a TBD in guv town hall

October 13, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Mark Schauer aggressively attacked Gov. Rick Snyder as a putting-business-before-common-folks fat cat. A couple attacks pushed the factual limits.

Snyder gets a Truth Squad warning and fracking foul in town hall event

October 13, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Gov. Snyder spent much of Sunday’s debate defending his commitment to education and the middle class during his first term in office.

Truth Squad calls foul on pandering Supreme Court ad

October 8, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Justices Zahra and Viviano try to reconcile being fair, “rule-of-law” judges with their determination to uphold convictions in sex cases. Isn’t it a justice’s duty to ensure a criminal defendant was properly convicted?

Flagrant foul on state GOP for printing phone number for Dem’s ailing mother

October 8, 2014 | Bridge Staff

State Republicans sent out a flyer urging the public to call Democratic House candidate John Fisher to complain about his vote for Obamacare. It turns out, the number was for the bedside phone of Fisher’s 91-year-old mother, who is getting hospice care.

Warning to state GOP for accusation on Schauer campaign probe

October 8, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Two weeks after the state dismissed GOP’s complaint, Republican website continues to say the complaint is being investigated.

The wedding dress is fetching, but the claims are crepe

October 4, 2014 | Bridge Staff

"Brittany” has been one busy bride-to-be, endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidates, including Rick Snyder, because they fit her so well.

Foul on Snyder ad for portrayal of Schauer school vote

October 1, 2014 | Bridge Staff

A veteran teacher defends Gov. Snyder’s commitment to properly funding K-12 education, but goes awry in saying challenger Schauer voted to cut school budget.

Foul on anti-Schauer ad tying Obamacare to higher taxes

October 1, 2014 | Bridge Staff

A Republican Governors Association ad claims Obamacare, which Schauer supported, has raised costs and lessened coverage for Michigan seniors.

Fake news site attacking Dem congressional candidate earns flagrant foul

September 24, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The “South Michigan Update” nails the spending record of Democrat Pam Byrnes. But it turns out this “publication” is fake, and so is the journalism.

Anti-Walberg ad receives flagrant foul for evidence-free claim about flights

September 24, 2014 | Bridge Staff

If voters don’t like Congress members’ pay and perks, should they vote out the incumbent? That’s the message of an attack ad on Tim Walberg.

Anti-Schauer ad overplays his ‘rock star’ status

September 17, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The Democratic gubernatorial nominee played a part in raising taxes under Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but he did not cast deciding vote. And hanging the state’s economic recession on the pair is not supported by the evidence.

Foul for anti-Snyder ad linking pay raises to schools

September 17, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The governor is facing heat for giving huge raises to treasury executives and government contracts to his cousin’s company. But this ad goes overboard in suggesting those payments shortchanged the state’s public schools.

Flagrant foul to teachers group for video bashing Snyder

September 10, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The MEA attacks governor for education cuts that it says led to slashed programs and big bonuses for CEOs.

Truth Squad gives warning in Snyder 'Numbers' ad

September 10, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Gov. Snyder gives himself a low-key pat on the back for economic improvements he says he has made as governor, and we run the numbers.

Truth Squad calls foul on Snyder attack ad

September 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

There is no question that many Michigan seniors are taking a tax hit on pensions and property taxes under the governor’s tax reforms. Dems attack this vulnerability but go too far.

Truth Squad foul for saying Schauer “nearly destroyed” Michigan

September 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

GOP guvs offer grim portrait of state’s financial decline under Granholm, when Mark Schauer was in the Senate. But ad ignores auto crisis in assigning blame.

Truth Squad issues warning on ad attacking AG Schuette

August 27, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Democratic challenger Mark Totten takes the gloves off and sets them on fire in painting Bill Schuette as a right-wing zealot.

Truth Squad gives foul for image used in anti-Schauer ad

August 27, 2014 | Bridge Staff

An ad attacking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer would have been fine had it stuck to its tax-and-spend critique. But one image changed all that.