DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Republican Party has pulled a cable TV ad bashing heavily Democratic Detroit that also noted accomplishments of Republicans that run neighboring Oakland County.
According to his spokesman, Bill Mullin, Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson saw the ad and asked state GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak on Tuesday to pull it, saying it was unnecessarily negative.
Before the state GOP pulled the ad, Patterson released a statement saying his request had been denied and that the ad would continue to run.
“I’ve always run political campaigns built on positive messages. My campaign has asked the independent entity that produced this ad to take it down, but they’ve refused,” Patterson said. “Detroit has its challenges. But my administration has always tried to be part of the solution.”
Mullin told WWJ Newsradio 950, “What Brooks found objectionable is … he is all for promoting the positives about Oakland County, it’s a great story to tell. But he doesn’t believe in promoting that message at the expense of Detroit.”
“Brooks believes in sending out positive messages,” Mullin added. “He doesn’t believe in getting down in the gutter with his opponents or anyone else, and it was very important for him to see this ad taken down because that’s just not his style.”
State GOP spokesman Matt Frendewey initially said that the party might run the ad showing decrepit buildings and the city’s ex-mayor until the Nov. 6 election. But he later said that Schostak “decided it was best to pull the ad” after talks with leaders in Oakland County and elsewhere.
The ad aired Monday and Tuesday in Oakland County, the state’s most prosperous county. The ad said Detroit, which long has struggled with high poverty, is “a place known for outrageous spending and crushing debt, for blight and decay, corruption and incompetence. That’s hard on business and terrible for jobs.”
The ad showed former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who currently is on trial in federal court in a corruption case, being escorted by officers in a courtroom during one of his criminal proceedings. It then shifted to show the merits of Oakland County, highlighting its AAA bond rating.
“We do things differently. … We are open for business and always creating jobs,” the ad states.
The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, a political activist and pastor of the New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, welcomed the decision to remove the ad, “Even to run it at all … is absolutely distasteful,” he said. “This further exacerbates an already negative issue and a division.”
The ad also drew criticism from Democrats.
“We’ve lost thousands of jobs, also,” said Frank Houston, chairman of the Oakland County Democratic Party. “The recovery has still been tough here. … We still have our problems. There’s a little bit of this myth that Oakland County has no problems and Detroit has them all. I think that’s simply not true.”
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