The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Negative 2016 Primary Elections in Meridian Township

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 
Negative 2016 Primary Elections in 
Meridian Township

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - If you were to gauge the level of campaigning happening in this year’s local Meridian Township Primary Elections, the amount of political mailers and Facebook threads seem to have weighed heavily on the bad and the ugly side of campaigning.

While there are two sides to every story, fingers seem to be pointing in all directions. July ended with pieces of negative campaign mail hitting peoples’ homes and culminated with a slew of irate comments on the Meridian Township Berniecrats Facebook Fanpage looking for someone to point the finger at.

When pictures of an empty parking space arrived at voters’ homes indicating Incumbent Candidate Clerk Brett Dreyfus was not at work, the uproar led many to rise and show support for his campaign and backlash against the negative ad. Comments included;

Barbara Schmidt; "It's always helpful when a candidate shows us who he really is."

Pk Dulong; "Why does politics always have to be dirty."

Patty McPhee; "Sadly, this is ALL on the same side. All Democrats fighting and being led (or misled) by a bully..."

Janet Metzelaar; "I agree. Let us not stoop to unethical means to win the race. On either side of the aisle."

Nancy Gould Gomoll; "I personally do not tolerate dishonest in politics. Grow up if you want to represent me!"

Including former Planning Commissioner
Ganesh Reddy who stated; "This is a shame! Whether I agree with Brett Dreyfus or not, this is not the way to treat him!"

While candidates seem to have stayed clear from discussion threads, plenty of comments have left election analysts to wonder what the effect of negative campaigning has on the local level. According to some analysts, ‘going nuclear’ on your opponent at the local level is more than likely to backfire on your own campaign; “You run the risk of alienating a block of voters whose opinions about your opponent are already cast in stone.” – Engage Media Political Campaign Tips and Why “Going Negative” in a Local Election Rarely Works.”

Discussion threads from commenters read that the negative campaign ads are not fair to the candidate and seem to twist the truth. According to a study on the effectiveness of negative political advertisements; 59% of those surveyed believed candidates deliberately twist the truth, 87% are concerned about the level of personal attacks, even noting that “when a negative ad aims at something outside of the bounds of what voters consider to be relevant and fair, the effects just might be opposite of what was intended.” –

During HOMTV's live Election Night coverage, a political analyst will join us to weigh in campaigning at the local level. Join HOMTV at 8pm Tuesday, August 2nd or Comcast Channel 21 in Haslett, Okemos, and East Lansing.

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