While Michigan law forbids the use of public funds by state or local government to advocate for candidates or specific ballot issues, it allows them to "provide information" to the public. And if that "information" is sufficiently scary, members of the public might be persuaded to part with more of their money.
Further, if local governments route public money through the Michigan Municipal League, according to a 2001 ruling by then-Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, it is transformed into private money, since the Municipal League is a nonprofit corporation, not a public body, and the league can take positions on ballot issues.
In this case, the public dollars have been sent through both the laundering and spin cycles, since they have gone from local governments to the Municipal League to the "Michigan Fiscal Responsibility Project."
And the taxpayers have been hung out to dry.