ANN ARBOR, Mich. ― A radio ad getting wide play in Michigan offers a vivid example of the kinds of lies circulating all over the country in advance of next week’s midterm elections ― and who is primarily responsible for telling them.
The subject is Proposal 2, a ballot initiative that would set up a bipartisan commission to draw district lines for seats in the state Legislature and Congress. The measure’s goal is to end partisan gerrymandering, but the ad barely mentions that. It focuses instead on the commissioners and their supposed ability to raid the state treasury.
“The only guarantee is that it will cost you an insane amount of money,” the ad’s narrator warns. “Proposal 2 writes a blank check to 13 new ‘commissioners’ for a new bureaucracy, and they can spend whatever they want. No limits on staffing, lawyers, or consultants. Or themselves. Unlimited pay and perks.”
Just in case the prospect of greedy bureaucrats isn’t enough to scare off voters, the ad also claims that the money would divert funds from vital state needs: “Your taxes won’t be fixing roads or teaching children,” the narrator warns.