Politics in Michigan are Pure Crap

UPDATE — I’m not sure when it actually happened, but as of Monday, Sept. 13, the video has been removed by the Michigan GOP. I can’t say for certain that my blog posts, the media coverage and many people joining me in deriding this ad had an effect, but I’d like to think so. Thanks to all who commented or sent notes of support.

~ aba


I saw a video yesterday that offended me. I don’t suppose that’s very newsworthy since people are probably offended by things on YouTube every day. But this was a video from a political party who found  a way to misrepresent the community I live in as part of their attempt to smear the record of their candidate’s opponent.

The Lansing I live in is nothing at all like what the Michigan Republican Party has portrayed it as in their video titled Pure Lansing. Unfortunately, both political parties in this state have been racing to the bottom and simply creating a more jaded electorate with their efforts.

I am not going into great detail to rip apart the video I linked to above. Instead, I’m simply going to disagree and practice what I’ve been preaching. I’m going to be positive.

If you want to know what “Pure Lansing” is really like, you can listen to political operatives pandering for votes, or you can listen to the people who live, work and play in a place they are proud to call home.

If you are on Twitter, follow the hashtag #lovelansing. If you are on Facebook, follow the Lansing Breakfast Club or Lansing Happy Hour Club groups.

Or watch this news piece about Ignite Lansing:

Or this news piece about Kiplinger naming Lansing one of the top 10 cities in America for young professionals:

Is everything in Lansing wonderful? Of course not. Is everything perfect in any city? Hardly. But what makes a city a place you want to call home is the community that exists within it. There are so many examples of good things happening in Michigan’s capital city. Visit our capitol or one of the great museums, like Impression 5. Wander around Potter Park Zoo, stroll through Old Town or enjoy one of the many new restaurants peppering the Washington Square area.

Lansing is changing for the better. I wish Michigan politics could do the same.

(Photo courtesy of Brian Forbes.)

10 comments on “Politics in Michigan are Pure Crap

  1. Wow! I hadn’t seen the advertisement. Such a shame to paint Lansing in such a negative light. I agree there is a lot of positive going on in our community and we have great talent within our zip codes. Considering the consequences it could have for economic development, it’s a ridiculous move to make for the sake of scoring political points. I hope Rick Snyder publicly criticizes its content. If he becomes our next governor he won’t want that account of Lansing thrown back in his face by companies he hopes to attract to the region.


    • Lisa, you make an excellent point about companies looking at Lansing and thinking about bringing jobs here. All the great work the Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing to sell our community to tourists and convention organizers just got stabbed in the back, too. It’s sad.


  2. The tactic of talking about only one side of the coin (or in fact, denying that the other side even exists) fits snugly within the political toolbox. This video is no exception. In fact, it’s probably the exact video you would expect given the current trend toward strictly-negative campaigning.

    I often wonder how much impact these ads pack; being bludgeoned with negativity without offering any answers is akin to watching a Romantic Comedy without the happy ending – it’s just depressing. ‘Vote for me and all will be better’ is a little to ‘bippity-boppity-boo’ for me; Politicians are not Fairy Godmothers.

    Keep talking the positive talk. Speaking as someone that has just recently discovered #lovelansing – it is making a difference.


    • Mike, thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m glad you are finding Lansing a place you want to be.

      As for the negativity, I think it’s driving people away from the voting booth, which is sad considering how appalling our voter turnout rates are in this state already. All the political operatives I talk to say negative ads work, and all the regular voters I talk to say it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’ll see the pendulum swing back toward the positive spectrum again soon.


  3. Downtown is given tax breaks. What about S. Cedar St or S. Pennsylvania? Blight after blighted store front. Don’t tell me turning Farmer Jacks/Builders Square into a church is progress. These two streets have been ignored.

    Now the river trail and Hawk Island are jewels. Second to none. Improve the whole city like those two gems and you will have it.

    Concentrating on one group or area while ignoring the real main corridors is stagnant. But if the progress downtown can transfer to these two roads, then you are on the right track. Otherwise, The Porn video store is on S. Cedar, with the Pawn stores and smokeless tobacco is not improvement.


    • You make some good points William – thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      I agree there is much more to be done in Lansing to ensure all parts of the city are vibrant again. But you have to start somewhere, and the leaders decided to start with downtown. Next was Old Town and on the radar is REO Town. Success is breeding success.

      I was at an event tonight with former Lansing Mayor David Hollister who made a great point about success requiring what he calls “VP3: Vision, Planning, Partnerships and Perseverance.” Think of where the Lugnuts are playing ball on summer nights now and what a difference was made when the old “sin strip” was demolished to make room for a family oriented venue. Good things are happening and, like ripples in a pond, that positive growth occurring downtown will continue to expand.


  4. I don’t disagree with you Ari. I am from Dearborn and the transformation in “West” Dearborn is miraculous. Lansing is starting but I don’t want the South (where I reside) to be ignored. For credibility, I have put $47000.00 into my home in the last year so I qualify as believing in Lansing. Obtaining permits and code compliance has not been friendly to residents who want to make improvements. They are a barrier to expansion in my own humble opinion. They need instruction in customer service.


    • It’s great to hear about your investment. Certainly the city needs to make sure that its own policies and practices are not serving as roadblocks to people trying to do the right thing. I agree with you that the big developers can’t be the only ones catered to if we are going to see longterm success in Lansing.


  5. Pingback: That’s Going to Leave a Mark « Here Comes Later

  6. Dear “Leathers,” your comment about Rick Snyder has been removed because it violates my comment policy, which can be found here. Please feel free to resubmit an appropriate comment. Cheers!

    ~ Ari


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