Feb 15, 2010

Newspaper carrying water for rightwing think tank

The rightwing think tank the “Mackinac Center for Public Policy” began a bi-monthly newspaper called “Capitol Confidential” back in 2008, and it now appears it has a new daily newspaper called the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.

In its mad dash to the right, the Press & Argus has been carrying water for the rightwing think tank, and today the paper helped the Mackinac Center out on its mission to kill the successful and award-winning Pure Michigan ad campaign to increase tourism in the state.

In a bleak economy, tourism has been one of the bright spots, and that has been borne out by the success of the Pure Michigan ads. In fact, in September the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association released a survey of its members showing 72.9 percent had seen an increase in out-of-state visitors coming to their facilities over the summer compared to the summer of 2008.

A study conducted by the respected Toronto-based Longwoods International has demonstrated that the Pure Michigan campaign has helped significantly boost tourism spending in the state.

“According toe the newspaper, “preliminary results of the study were made available just after the governor's address, the full study will not be available for a month,” and the Mackinac Center is basically calling them a liar by saying they cannot verify the data.

Not only have the ads won awards, they have the support on both sides of the aisle. According to subscription only Gongwers, Republican “Attorney General Mike Cox, one of the favorites to become the next governor, has said the ad campaign has worked. Even Sen. Nancy Cassis, R-Novi,” supports it.

The Advertising campaign for the winter has already been canceled, and the fall ads are also in danger. House Bill 5017 would assess a $2.50 fee on cars rented near airports to fund the ad campaign. That’s what the Mackinac Center and its ally the Press & Argus are fighting.

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