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.


The best, worst and funniest U.S. political ads of this campaign season

November 1, 2016 | Bridge Staff

From a weary wife to a peeing baby, 10 political ads that are worth watching more than once. Yes, even this year.

Miller gets flagrant foul for linking opponent to homicide

October 20, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Candice Miller’s campaign has accomplished the seemingly impossible: Making a man accused of patronage and sexual harassment look like victim.

GOP spending claim in state House race earns foul

October 20, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Flyer in northern Michigan’s 101st District dishonestly claims a cost-saving bill voted for by Democrat Dan Scripps had “cost families billions.

Candice Miller’s attacks mostly hold water

October 11, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Miller, running for Macomb County drain commissioner, may be an imperfect candidate to lecture on the environment. But her attacks on incumbent Anthony Marrocco are based on years of poop found in Macomb’s lake water

Marrocco earns foul for scare tactics on Koch brothers

October 11, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Macomb Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco makes hay of Candice Miller’s ties to the Koch brothers and their history of climate-change denial. Then he goes too far.

Johnson fairly attacks Bergman’s residency and fish tale, but fouls on asset claim

September 27, 2016 | Bridge Staff

This Truth Squad inquiry begins with a one-page fact sheet, and ends with two men and their fish.

Foul on GOP for innuendo on Johnson’s home

September 27, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Does Lon Johnson live in Kalkaska County? Or a penthouse apartment in Detroit? A national Republican group implies the latter, but can’t back it up.

Walberg fouls with attack on Driskell over his trade record

September 22, 2016 | Bridge Staff

In calling his opponent a liar, the incumbent fails to take ownership of his voting record on trade deals

No foul on Driskell for attacking Walberg’s trade votes

September 22, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Whether free-trade agreements have cost Michigan jobs is a matter of debate, but Walberg’s record of supporting them is accurately represented.

Flagrant foul for campaign photo touting guns

August 1, 2016 | Bridge Staff

A mysterious nonprofit blankets Detroit with a flyer showing Senate candidate Ian Conyers and pals posing menacingly with rifles. Or are they?

Casperson overstates role in blocking EPA rule

July 26, 2016 | Bridge Staff

State Sen. Tom Casperson says in a congressional campaign that he stopped an EPA rule on wood stoves. He did not.

Allen fouls congressional opponent about car fees

July 26, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Congressional candidate Jason Allen zings primary foe Tom Casperson on his less-than-conservative record. But goes afoul over car fees and anti-veteran charge

Clinton fouls Sanders on auto bailout

March 8, 2016 | Bridge Staff

She’s guilty of oversimplifying, distorting and, yes, telling the truth.

Sanders fouls by oversimplifying roots of Flint's decline

March 8, 2016 | Bridge Staff

In a debate with time limits and little time to explain nuance, the Vermont senator wasn't very nuanced in his insistence that trade policy was the primary force behind Flint's decline.

Kasich gets a foul for remarks on Detroit, Cleveland schools

March 7, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Ohio Gov. John Kasich erred in saying Detroit’s mayor controls the school system. He also erred in recounting reforms touted in Cleveland schools.

Cruz earns foul for blaming Detroit’s decline solely on Democrats

March 7, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Detroit’s transition from manufacturing powerhouse to the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy can be blamed on myriad factors, from seismic changes in the auto industry to white flight.

Rubio gets warning for saying Dems ‘politicized’ Flint water crisis

March 7, 2016 | Bridge Staff

In the recent Republican debate held in Detroit Sen. Marco Rubio accuses Democrats of turning the Flint water crisis into an “outrageous” partisan attack. He ought to hear what fellow Republicans are saying.

No foul in by-the-numbers Clinton ad

February 25, 2016 | Bridge Staff

This television ad sticks to Hillary Clinton’s role in key initiatives central to her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, including women’s rights, healthcare and international relations. The ad successfully avoids more controversial topics.

Sanders ad earns a foul for exaggerations on work hours and the ultra-rich

February 25, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has struck a chord with his criticisms of income inequality and an economy that has not been kind to the middle class. But his Michigan ad gilds the lily on gains by the top 1 percent of wage earners

Who approved switch to Flint River? State's answers draw fouls

January 21, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Gov. Snyder, his supporters and appointees contend that Flint’s elected officials made the fateful decision to draw the city’s drinking water from the Flint River. Truth Squad shows you what the documents reveal.