LANSING - State Representative Robert L. Kosowski (D-Westland), Democratic Vice Chairman of the House Tourism Committee, and Rep. Charles Brunner (D-Bay City), another committee member, said today they are pleased with the end of using Pure Michigan to trumpet political issues. The representatives heard a presentation by officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to the committee today. Joining the representatives in praising the move was House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills).
"Finally, the MEDC saw the error of its ways in using a cherished brand to promote a right-to-work law that's wrong for Michigan," Greimel said. "This is a victory for Democrats in the Legislature who are committed to working to protect middle-class families rather than bowing to corporate special interests that would threaten them."
Over the objections of many legislators and thousands of Michiganders, Republicans rammed so-called "right-to-work" laws through the Legislature during last year's lame duck session. This year, the MEDC spent $144,000 to purchase a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the passage of the legislation.
"Pure Michigan is designed to highlight the best of what our state has to offer, both to residents and visitors," Kosowski said. "Unfortunately, decisions have been made to use the brand to push political issues that divide our state. We need to restore Pure Michigan to its rightful place: promoting tourism and the splendor of Michigan."
While the MEDC allows other entities to use the Pure Michigan logo to promote tourism and business development, it insists that those entities "maintain the high quality of the mark and will safeguard the established prestige and goodwill related to the mark." By using Pure Michigan to advertise political division, the MEDC didn't follow its own standards.
"The hard-working families of this state, many of them struggling to make ends meet, expect their government to spend money wisely," Brunner said. "Instead, the governor used the MEDC as a political slush fund to gloat over a bill that so many people feel is wrong for Michigan."