So much for Pure Michigan.
After the Michigan Economic Development Corp. released an ad last week using the tourism slogan to promote controversial new anti-union laws, state Democrats have stepped into the fray and fired off their own retaliatory video.
Their reactionary "This Is NOT Pure Michigan" video, complete with a soothing voice-over track, saccharine piano and family-friendly scenes, mimics the state-sponsored Pure Michigan ads touting tourism opportunities. But it's also punctuated by clips from December protests of the right-to-work legislation enacted during Congress's lame-duck session, and it aims a target on Governor Rick Snyder.
"One day, Pure Michigan was no longer about us. It was about one person, one agenda and one more thing to divide us," the voice intones, while showing an image of Snyder. "And on that day, Michigan just seemed, well, a little less pure."
The Wall State Journal ad that called the state a "perfect storm of opportunity" for those looking to do business garnered extensive negative feedback for using the Pure Michigan brand to promote a divisive issue.
Snyder told the Detroit Free Press he didn't review the WSJ ad ahead of time.
"I would not have been emphasizing one issue the way it was emphasized in that ad," he told the paper. "I would have preferred it had had a much broader definition" of what makes Michigan a desirable place to locate a business, he said.
The Pure Michigan moniker has been used for other economic development initiatives. Most recently, Snyder made an appearance at the Detroit auto show Tuesday to announce Ford and Chrysler's involvement in the Pure Michigan Business Connect program.
MEDC is a public-private partnership. Snyder, in fact, was the first chair of its Executive Committee when the group formed in 1999.
The right-to-work laws touted in the WSJ ad and slammed by Democrats were signed by Snyder in December, after long insisting that pushing what many call anti-union legislation wasn't part of his agenda. Snyder and supporters now credit the laws, which forbid unions from requiring employees to join and pay dues, for providing freedom to workers. Detractors say they cripple unions and were a political move.
The switch also prompted Democrats to launch notonmyagenda.com, a campaign to show Snyder changed his stance on right to work, social issues and environmental protections.
What do you think? Watch the video above, read the Wall Street Journal ad and then take the poll below.