Michigan Truth Squad

A project of
the Center for Michigan.

Current investigations

Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 10

There are plenty of informative, fair-minded political ads being delivered to Michigan residents leading up to Tuesday’s midterms. You will see none of them here.

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Gators, guns and a whole lot of squealin': Political ads from around the country

The Michigan Truth Squad doesn’t look critically at out-of-state political ads. But when those lists of notable ads roll around, of course we pay attention.

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Flagrant foul for questioning Totten’s service as federal prosecutor

A bold ad by a Republican group says Attorney General candidate Mark Totten is lying when he says he worked on criminal cases as a federal prosecutor. But court records and Totten’s former boss confirm his work.

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Schuette video gets warning for claim of 1,000 new cops

A video by Attorney General Bill Schuette suggests he successfully pushed for new laws on repeat offenders and to get 1,000 more cops in Michigan. Only the first effort actually became law.

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No foul for tying David Trott to “human misery” of eviction work

Republican congressional candidate David Trott has been pilloried as “The Foreclosure King” by his primary and general election opponents. This “brutal” ad recounts the eviction of a 101-year-old Detroit woman.

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 5

It was hard not to think of those Cosa Nostra organizational charts you see in true-crime books when we watched this ad attacking U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters for "the company he keeps" because his campaigns have accepted money from two men […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 7

Not every flagrant-fouling ad is painful to watch. In fact, we chuckled at the cartoony corporate fat cats in this Michigan Education Association-produced video about Gov. Rick Snyder's cuts to education funding in the state. But it didn't change the erroneous factual […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 1

You know how in mafia movies, gangsters are always calling down curses on each other's families? We thought of that when we considered this flyer from the Michigan Republican Party, which urges residents to call Democratic House candidate John Fisher of Kalamazoo […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 9

The website "South Michigan Update" is a creation of the National Republican Congressional Committee, set up to look like a news site – and virtually identical to the "Central Valley Update" in California, to name but one – and devoted to one […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s worst ads, No. 4

Julie Boonstra's starring role in an anti-Obamacare ad financed by the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity Super PAC crossed a line. The ad is predicated on Boonstra's claim that her new health-care plan under Obamacare is "unaffordable" and "jeopardized her health," when […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 3

This ad, that received a flagrant foul for the campaign of Brian Ellis in a tough West Michigan primary against incumbent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, has been pulled from YouTube. Huh. We wonder why. Maybe because calling Amash "al-Qaeda's best friend in Congress" […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 8

"Fees on nursing-home beds?" a sad-faced woman asks the camera in this anti-Mark Schauer ad made by the Republican Governors Association. It turns out the bed fee was used to leverage additional federal Medicaid money and increase Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes. […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 6

If you make millions basing your law practice on foreclosure and evictions, and then run for Congress, you can expect it to be brought up by your opponents, as David Trott has discovered. But when they try to tell people that you […]

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Campaign 2014: Truth Squad’s 10 worst ads, No. 2

Is Mark Totten, Democratic candidate for attorney general, a real prosecutor? This ad by a 527 group supporting incumbent Bill Schuette says no, and then goes further by branding Totten a liar. Totten's boss in the U.S. Attorney's Office says Totten was […]

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Foul on Bishop for accusing opponent of tripling staff

Truth Squad cites warning after warning for Mike Bishop’s “Fighting for Our Families” video, and then a foul in his attack on Eric Schertzing.

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Truth Squad foul on ad saying Barrett is beholden to Koch group

The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity has backed state House candidate Tom Barrett. Does that mean Barrett will put AFP’s needs first?

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Ad portraying Gary Peters as cozy with criminals gets Flagrant Foul

This Super PAC ad suggests that the Democratic Senate candidate knowingly accepted campaign contributions from convicted felons. He did not.

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Foul on ad pinning government shutdowns solely on Mike Bishop

Mike Bishop drew plenty of flack for his role in two government shutdowns when he was state Senate Majority Leader. But this ad for Eric Schertzing, Bishop’s Democratic opponent in a race for Congress, ignores the roles of then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm and House leader Andy Dillon in the standoffs.

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