The group against Proposal 2 has conjured up some truly deceptive, paranoid bunk to whip up fear over lifting Michigan's ban on embryonic stem cell research.
But here's the most dishonest thing of all.
Spokesman Dave Doyle flatly told me it last week it doesn't matter.
"We don't take a position on specific legislation or anything else," he said.
Say what? This is the fundamental issue of Prop 2. Voters absolutely have the right to know the answer to this question. And they should ask why MiCAUSE is being so shifty. What do you have to hide?
I pressed Doyle why he didn't think it was important.
"Our group was formed to oppose the constitutional amendment and we only talk about that," Doyle replied, lapsing into neatly typed talking points.
Really, what does he take us for?
Back in 2006, can you imagine Leon Drolet ducking whether or not he opposed affirmative action when he was gunning for a constitutional amendment banning it? That's just bad PR, as my professional media hound friend would probably tell you.
Both are the loudest opponents of embryonic stem cell research out there. Their criticism is on religious grounds, which I respect. However, they go way too far by arguing that potentially life-saving research on microscopic cells from fertility clinics (that would have been chucked in the dumpster otherwise) is akin to abortion or infanticide.
That's just disingenuous. Those cells are never going to say "goo." But they could find a cure for people suffering from Alzheimer's, which claimed my grandfather 16 years ago this spring. And they could help millions suffering from Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, spinal cord injuries and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
So why doesn't MiCAUSE just come clean and say it's against embryonic stem cell research? After all, the group is bought and paid for by special interests that are.
Turns out, that's an easy one. Doyle and the other hired guns at Marketing Research Group (MRG) are no dummies. Polls show about 60 percent of Americans back the research, including a majority of Catholics.
So Doyle stresses that it's A-OK to be pro-stem cell and anti-2 because the amendment "goes too far." This is the standard argument against any ballot proposal. The sky will always fall if Prop X passes.
And since MiCAUSE can't win a fair fight, it's time for the smears and smokescreens. I give its high-priced consultants credit. The group has a flair for the dramatic, if you've watched its ominous, apocalyptic ads envisioning a world of animal-human clones and science run amok.
Too often, journalists don't call B.S. when we see it. Oh, no, the charlatans might come after us, insisting we write a correction that black is white. Well, this is as clear-cut an issue as I've ever seen. MiCAUSE is lying to you. Period.
Here's a reality check. Michigan already has a tough law banning cloning. Some embryonic stem cell research takes place here but it's extremely limited. The Legislature and governor are free to regulate an industry designed around saving lives. And it will create thousands of good-paying life sciences jobs critical for our economically decimated state.
Proposal 2 is precisely what the Wolverine State needs right now. Its opponents are the logical heirs to the Flat Earth Society.
But he is parroting MiCAUSE's crazy rhetoric on clones and weird science, which he need not do. George would one day make a fine congressman or lieutenant governor, but he's hurt his credibility in the long-run, even if he's endeared himself to the receding right-wing of his party.
He might want to talk to Republican former House Speaker Rick Johnson, who passionately believes that being pro-Proposal 2 is the most pro-life position there is, since it could save the lives of people suffering from debilitating diseases. Johnson knows of what he speaks, having a brother who was severely injured in an accident two decades ago.
"If they ever had the opportunity to sit in a hospital ER ward wondering if someone's going to live or die, and knowing that something like this could help save those lives, they may look at things a little differently," Johnson says quietly. "I have; I have gone to funerals of people who have passed away that this kind of research can help."
It's time to ask yourself how you'll feel about closing the door on that research. That's what you'll do by voting no on Proposal 2.