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Michigan political media finally figures out that Americans for Prosperity is lying

by: Eric B.

Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:03:53 PM EST

Credit where credit is due ... saw this yesterday, after I finished yesterday's post.

Washington — A new Americans for Prosperity television ad highlighting a Michigan cancer patient who is critical of Rep. Gary Peters is making representations that aren’t consistent with what she told The Detroit News three weeks ago in an interview.

They are also inconsistent with how the law is written, but that's part of our story.

The Detroit News interviewed Boonstra Jan. 28 when she was the guest of Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton at the State of the Union address in Washington. The one-minute ad makes no mention that Boonstra successfully enrolled in a new Blue Cross plan where she’s able to retain her University of Michigan oncologist and continues to receive the life-saving oral chemotherapy.

The ad also does not mention that Boonstra’s health care premiums were cut in half when she enrolled in a new Blue Cross plan, to $571 a month from $1,100. The new plan, however, increases out-of-pocket costs, such as doctor’s visits going from $20 to $50, she told The News.

The ad naturally doesn't mention that those out-of-pocket costs are capped. The Freep also had an article that arrived largely as the same conclusions, except that it passed off the work of coming to a conclusion to the Washington Post's fact checker, presumably so when AFP complains, the News can say, "Hey, we're not saying this, the other guy is..." (this is the way of the media these days on anything that carries a whiff of controversy).

This is how political ads ought to be covered, where the public is informed if the claims being made in the ads are consistent with the truth. The answer to complaints from interest groups airing the ads is simple. Tell them to start making more truthful ads and you won't have to write stories calling them liars.

There are three issues left hanging here:

A. When AFP launched its first ads, the organization was allowed to lie to the public about the intent of the ads not being electoral in nature. AFP was the group that Terri Lynn Land was talking about when she told some Traverse-area Republicans last year that she'd had some talks with outside groups. How does Terri Lynn Land feel about the falsehoods being propogated by this ad. How does she feel about a cancer victim being exploited on her behalf?

B. What about that cancer victim? Again, no one appears to have thought it important to explain to someone with a very serious illness what changes were taking place in her health care. The only people who showed an interest instead just exploited her. What does this tell us about Americans for Prosperity in general?

C. Tee Vee stations can and have asked political campaigns for sheets to support every claim made in ads purchased from them. Since this one is so clearly full of falsehood, are any Tee Vee stations going to drop this and give much closer scrutiny to ads AFP tries to air in the future? What should happen is that the ad should be dropped and any ad the AFP wants to put on the air from here on out should be closely scrutinized. That is, if our Tee Vee stations wish to discharge their duties to the public properly. If they're just interested in the revenue from ad sales ...

Eric B. :: Michigan political media finally figures out that Americans for Prosperity is lying
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Blue Cross, not Obama, is the villain in this case
Mrs. Dudgeon and I have had BC/BS coverage for years, and paid for it out of our own pockets. The plan we had wasn't "junk," as defenders of Obamacare frequently claim.

Last September, BC/BS advised us that our current plan was not Obamacare-compliant, and would therefore terminate at the end of the year. It offered a substitute plan that cost over $100 a month more and had much higher deductibles.

Thousands of other Michiganders had the same thing happen to them. BC/BS blamed Obamacare, but it could have tweaked existing plans and adjusted the premiums accordingly. Instead, it forced policyholders to choose between an obviously inferior plan and buying a substitute plan on the federal exchange.

Ms. Boonstra's woes weren't caused by Obamacare. They were caused by the Blues, who have gotten a free ride from the right wing.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

I did a quick White Pages check on Julie Boonstra.
Her Dexter address matches that of Mark Boonstra.  I'm guessing they are husband and wife.  Mark Boonstra, partner at Miller Canfield, is a long-time Republican activist and County Chair who was recently appointed to the Court of Appeals by the Governor.  I remember the name because I worked with Mark as an intern in Lansing with then-Stata Senator Anthony Derezinski (D-Muskegon) in the late 70's.

It appears to me that this medical incident was anything but a spontaneous experience by an ordinary constituent.  So, they frame their story in this manner, and this is the best they can come up with?  

Nice detective work, Greg.  Maybe, you shouold get this out to the media, you know, try emailing this around to see how follows up on this even further.

BTW, speaking of Terri Lynn Land, it seems her role as Secretary of State is finally getting some fairly detailed scrutiny.  I think the issues of her voter purges during her terms - some of which were found to be illegal - and Michigan being turned into the capital of I.D. fraud under her reign at the very least point to massive incompetence, and maybe something more sinister.  Either of these things stick, or both of them, and she can kiss her already long-shot bid - yes, media, Michigan is fool's for GOP senate candidates despite what early polls are showing - goodbye.  

[ Parent ]
In which case, her story really doesn't add up
I assume that a law firm as prestigious as Miller Canfield offers its attorneys employer-paid health insurance that is much better than what the Blues offer on the exchange (Platinum level? Iridium, perhaps?), and that the plan covers family members.

And if Mark Boonstra is an appellate court judge, he probably has top-of-the line coverage there as well. He's also making about $150,000 a year, which covers an awful lot of $50 co-pays.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
Unless she is divorced
Mrs. Dudgeon noticed that she isn't wearing a wedding ring.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
Please note my correction,
per my reply below.

[ Parent ]
My "guess" was incorrect.
Mark Boonstra is married to Martha R. Boonstra.  Julie is a relative and neighbor.  I apologize for any misunderstanding.

[ Parent ]
I have talked to folks at the CoA
They report that Julie is Mark's ex-wife (and mother of his children).

Evidently, Mark and Martha do not have children together - unless you count their dressage horses. I guess the 2013 Judge Boonstra Christmas card was really something.

The real question is are people from the Peters Campaign aware of this Boonstra connection?

[ Parent ]
Eric, totally off topic, but I'd just like to throw out there that it'd be really cool if you could leave an "open thread" on Friday, where we could talk about anything Michigan politics related over the weekend.  There are often times I'd like to pick the brains of professionals, here, on something not directly related to the topic at hand.  And since the weekeneds are usually slower in terms of the frontpage, leaving an open discussion thread for the weekend would feel a void...and get you more page clicks.  I'm trying to appeal to every motive, here. lol

Second the motion
Weekend open threads: not just for bitching about the Lions.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
I don't have a problem with that.
Just remind me. I'll try to remember to do this.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Often coincides with his weekend benders
so it is understandably hard for him to keep track of what day it is...


Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Americans for their wersion of properity
Show me a Republican tea bag who doesn't shade the truth, doesn't cherry pick statements, doesn't take statements out of context and I'll show you someone who makes his living selling/telling fairy tales.  

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