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.


Distortions on health-care claims earn fouls on both sides

July 31, 2014 | Bridge Staff

As two conservatives try to out-renounce Obamacare, their contentions about one another veer into foul territory.

Proposal 1 spot toes the line on factual claims

July 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The proposal to repeal Michigan’s personal property tax and replace it with a different tax may be confusing, but the measure’s supporters are playing fair in their advertising.

Trott ad earns warning for contending Bentivolio won’t meet with voters

July 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

His ad says U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio “failed to stand up for conservatives” by missing a vote, but goes further and claims he’s MIA at town hall meetings.

When does life begin? Assumptions on scientific issues gets warning

July 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

A candidate’s proposed Life at Conception Act raises tricky questions about whether such a proposal would ban common forms of birth control.

Medicaid melee as 37th District candidates defend expansion votes

July 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Two state representatives explain their voting records on Medicaid expansion, and one gets a foul from the Truth Squad.

Truth Squad: More clutching than punching in governor’s race

July 10, 2014 | Bridge Staff

While Gov. Rick Snyder sits on his lead with gauzy character ads, challenger Mark Schauer takes aim at Snyder’s education record, in one case going too far.

Changes to Michigan Truth Squad

June 10, 2014 | David Zeman

Truth Squad is streamlining standards for judging accuracy of political ads.

Foul on ad accusing Gary Peters of supporting carbon tax

June 10, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Terri Lynn Land ad in Senate campaign accurately portrays Peters’ support for environmental legislation, but goes too far on issue of carbon taxes.

Foul on anti-Peters Senate ad hammering Obamacare

May 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Americans for Prosperity ad says that Obamacare, which Rep. Gary Peters supports, could force 225,000 Michiganders to lose their health insurance and pay thousands of dollars more for policies. Strong charges, but they lack supporting evidence.

Claim that Land would ban some birth control unsupported

May 29, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Terri Lynn Land has espoused strong views on banning abortion, but there is no evidence she would also ban some commonly used forms of contraception.

UPDATE: Upon further review, Land’s Obamacare ad a foul

May 20, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Terri Lynn Land blames health care law for fewer jobs and vows to cut the “red tape” for Michigan workers.

Ad accusing Terri Lynn Land of evicting families broadly true

May 19, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Land’s family bought the trailer park and motel where she grew up, then told the 170 families living there to leave. Is that an “eviction?”

Three attack ads on Schauer are foul free; but the fourth is a doozy

May 15, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Most of the Republican Governors’ anti-Schauer ads are fair game. But Guv group draws flagrant foul for chiding Schauer on measure Gov. Snyder also supports.

No foul on Dems’ questioning treatment given to Gov. Snyder’s cousin

May 15, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Michigan Democratic Party cites emails showing Gov. Snyder’s cousin went to Snyder’s top aides seeking help on legislation that would harm his furniture company. Within two weeks, the legislation was changed.

No foul on billboards chiding Gov. Snyder for higher taxes

May 15, 2014 | Bridge Staff

A sarcastic billboard mocking Gov. Snyder draws controversy.

Congressional candidate Trott did not order elderly eviction; only handled paperwork

April 17, 2014 | Bridge Staff

HUD ordered the eviction of Texana Hollis, 101, from her longtime Detroit home after sending numerous notices to Hollis’s son, who kept the warnings from his mom. While Trott’s foreclosure law firm handled the eviction paperwork, it did not order the eviction.

Ad opposing electric deregulation oversimplifies

April 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

In an otherwise fact-based ad, a Consumers Energy-backed group blames deregulation for rising energy prices in California, when the crisis there was more complex. The call: Warning.

Anti-Peters ad more emotion than fact

March 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Americans for Prosperity ad featuring leukemia patient Jule Boonstra is heartbreaking. But its central assertions, made through Boonstra, that Obamacare rendered her new plan unaffordable and jeopardized her health do not appear to hold up to scrutiny.

Truth Squad calls technical foul on Snyder ad for touting numbers not earned

February 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

Gov. Snyder’s Super Bowl ad touts first-term accomplishments but overstates his contribution to Michigan’s jobs picture.

Technical foul on Dem ad slamming Snyder

February 3, 2014 | Bridge Staff

The Democratic Governors Association played offense against Gov. Rick Snyder’s Super Bowl ad with an ad of its own. The Truth Squad calls technical foul on this add for failing to back up claims that Snyder cut taxes for Michigan firms that sent jobs overseas.


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