Heads up, politicians: The Michigan Truth Squad is back

How we make the call

Truth Squad assigns five ratings to the political statements we review, in descending levels of accuracy:

No factual inaccuracies in the statement and no important information is missing
Mostly accurate
While the statement is largely accurate, it omits or exaggerates facts, or needs some clarification
Half accurate
Truths are interspersed with mistruths, or the speaker left out significant facts that render his/her remarks misleading in important respects
Mostly inaccurate
The major point or points made are untrue or misleading, even while some aspects of the claim may be accurate
The statement is false, or based on false underlying facts

The Michigan Truth Squad – the award-winning political campaign fact-checking service provided by The Center for Michigan – returns on Monday, Feb. 3 for its first call of what is sure to be a busy 2014 election season.

The Truth Squad’s first call of 2014 will be based on our analysis of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s “Super Bowl” ad that is scheduled to air during tonight’s NFL championship football game. The ad officially kicks off Snyder’s reelection campaign. The Truth Squad will also analyze any responses to Snyder’s ad from his challenger, former Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer, or the state Democratic Party. You can read the Snyder and Schauer calls on Monday on our Truth Squad page.

The Truth Squad engages some of Michigan’s most experienced and respected journalists to fact-check the claims made by ballot question and candidate campaigns in their political advertisements on TV, radio and websites, and in newspapers and direct mail literature. The Truth Squad typically focuses on state issues – and there should be a lot of action in Michigan this year, with a gubernatorial race, State House and Senate races, and potentially some ballot questions.

“Truth Squad readers have come to expect hard-hitting, fact-based analyses – and that’s exactly what we plan to provide in 2014,” said David Zeman, Bridge’s senior editor. “There will be some big campaigns this year – and that means big spending. We’ll be there to help voters determine who’s telling the truth and who’s not.”

If Michigan residents hear or see a major speech, news release, white paper or report, viewpoint column, political website, or issue advertisement that raises questions, they are encouraged to send the Truth Squad a tip at bridgemichigan@gmail.com.

“We’ve learned through our many projects – including Bridge, the Truth Squad, and our Community Conversations held throughout the state – that Michigan residents are hungry to get engaged in the political process,” said John Bebow, president and CEO of The Center for Michigan. “The Truth Squad offers them an opportunity to share tips, identify questionable material, and help increase the integrity of the political process in Michigan. It is a marriage of great journalism and great public service.”

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Barry Mathews
Mon, 02/03/2014 - 9:35am
Thank you.
Rick Brandi
Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:19am
Here's a tip for the "truth squad": I am concerned with the accuracy of the flyer I received from you yesterday. It implies that a machine purchased in 1966 would still require personal property taxes be paid on it. In reality, depreciation is allowed and this would not be true at all if the equipment is fully depreciated. I think the tax is unfair and it should be eliminated, but I don't like deception to sell the concept. Lets get the facts out there. How soon will this repayment system start to reimburse communities that lose revenue from this proposal? Will district libraries be reimbursed? They are not providing "essential services" so I think not. Let's get the facts out! This came from the Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities. Po Box 12119, Lansing, MI 48901