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Wednesday, September 1,2010

Virg Watch

Have you seen the new one about “Pure Lansing?”

by Andy Balaskovitz
virg.jpgThe Michigan Republican Party released a one-minute political shot at Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero this week vis-'-vis depressing portraits of Lansing.

It is posted prominently on the Michigan GOP website and as of 10 a.m. this morning, had 933 views on YouTube. The ad portrays Lansing as a good place to raise a family because there are plenty of foreclosed houses to choose from and being unemployed means more time to spend with your kids.

“I’m mayor of Lansing, it’s a good job…I’m proud of the job I have done as mayor,” the ad begins with a recording of Bernero.

Then a narrator takes over: “There is a place where families stay together, spending quality time. Where homes are available in endless supply. Dads without work, having all day to spend with their kids.”

The ad ends, “When you need that little extra push to spend time with the ones you love it can get no better than pure Lansing.”

Ari Adler is a communications consultant in the Lansing area who has worked in the past with the Ingham County Republicans and as press secretary for the Michigan Senate Republican caucus. He publishes a blog called “Here Comes Later.”

He quipped about the “Pure Lansing” ad Tuesday in a post called “Politics in Michigan are Pure Crap.”

“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,” Adler wrote, adding that he was “offended” by it.

“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,” he wrote.

Jennifer Hoff, communications director for the Michigan GOP, said when Bernero campaigns and talks about highlights of his record — balanced budgets and attractive to business — he only addresses part of his record. The ad is not a knock on Lansing, Hoff said, but a knock on Bernero’s record.

“We used visuals to support the statistics (in the ad),” Dixon said, which included a 90 percent increase of unemployment — 19,000 jobs — from 2006 to 2009.

Hoff would not disclose how much was spent on the ad.

Comments on YouTube mostly aligned with Adler. One member under the name “bigWWloser” had this to say: “As a Lansing resident, this is highly offensive. I voted for Snyder before, but I probably won't now … I'd rather have Bernero win now. He's at least been a good mayor — Lansing is a great place to live, especially for young people.”

See the video for yourself here.

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