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Today's must read on the Pure Michigan controversy

by: Eric B.

Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:38:51 AM EST

A little quick history here ... back a few years ago, the Pure Michigan campaign -- a proven success -- was in trouble. It needed money to continue, but it appeared as if it was going to become the victim of partisan gridlock because Republicans didn't want to fund it. Then, they did, and everyone was happy because it unified all of Michigan under a single vision involving the thing that most of us take great pride in ... our close relationship with the outdoors. Then, this week, it was learned that the Pure Michigan campaign, through slow and unnoticed mission creep, was suddenly tied to the highly divisive Right to Work law rammed through the Legislature last month.

With all that in mind, this is today's must read on the controversy.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, parent of Travel Michigan, swiped the pristine “Pure Michigan” tourism brand Tuesday for use in a clumsy full-page Wall Street Journal ad touting Michigan’s new right-to-work law.

Until now, the words "Pure Michigan" have been associated with beauty and pleasure.

Now they are associated with screaming and union-busting.

Ick. Who wants to vacation in that state?

That's the reaction I'm worried about.

It's the reaction we all should be worried about, especially people who rely on tourist dollars. The odds are very, very good that the return on the investment on the full page Right to Work ad in the Wall Street Journal won't match the lost revenue if the Pure Michigan tourism brand is tarnished by politicizing it.

Keep in mind that these are the people who insist they understand how to make a successful business.

Eric B. :: Today's must read on the Pure Michigan controversy
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