Brouhaha Over ‘Pure Michigan’ Right-To-Work Ad
LANSING (WWJ) – A full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal promoting Michigan business and tourism, along with a new “right-to-work” law, is under fire by a liberal advocacy group.
Jessica Tramontana with the group “Progress Michigan” says the popular Pure Michigan brand should not be used for political purposes.
“That’s about tourism, about driving our local economies and helping spur tourism in the state of Michigan, and there’s absolutely no reason the Pure Michigan campaign should have been abused and used to tout the right-to-work campaign in Michigan,” Tramontana said.
“No matter where you lay on the right-to-work issue, abusing the Pure Michigan campaign in order to push a political agenda, to me, is abhorrent,” she said.
The full-page print ad, titled, ‘What happens when Michigan makes history,’ contains the following text: “It’s a new day for business in Michigan. Michigan is the newest Right-to-Work state. This once-in a generation transformation has Michigan poised to become a preferred place to do business. Michigan has also redesigned incentive programs, streamlined regulatory processes, approved legislation to eliminate personal property taxes and launched a new flat 6% business tax, giving the state its most competitive position in decades. The perfect storm of opportunity, resources and passion is Pure Michigan.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation says the Pure Michigan logo is used to promote tourism and business in the state, but it will take into account opinions of the business community and right-to-work foes before it running the ad again.
In short, right-to-work laws prohibit requiring unions from collecting fees from non-union employees, which opponents say drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits. Supporters say such laws boost the economy and job creation.
The package of bills was passed, amid protests, by the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder last month, making Michigan the nation’s 24th right-to-work state.
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