Michigan right-to-work ad ripped for link to tourism brand

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Michigan’s economic development arm is being criticized for buying a newspaper ad touting the state’s new right-to-work law with the “Pure Michigan” tourism logo.

In the full-page ad in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said the law has Michigan poised to be a preferred place to do business. Pure Michigan is mentioned in ad, and the logo also is shown.

Critics say the state’s popular tourism campaign shouldn’t be tied to the contentious law prohibiting requirements that workers pay union dues or fees.

Liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan said it’s an inappropriate and partisan misuse of taxpayers’ money.

“I’m disappointed to see a wildly successful tourism campaign wielded as a tool for the right-wing extremists running Lansing,” said Jessica Tramontana, communications director of Progress Michigan. “The only history made yesterday was when Gov. Snyder chose to drag the Pure Michigan name through the political mud - and lawmakers responsible for oversight of the Pure Michigan campaign should be ashamed they were asleep at the wheel.”

The law takes effect in late March. It’s expected to face legal challenges from labor unions.