Tag Archives | Mackinac Center

UPDATED: Dow Foundation gives $1 million grant to anti-public schools corporatist front group to “fund education policy research”

The anti-union, anti-teacher corporatist group Mackinac Center for Public Policy has a long history of promoting the demise of teachers unions and public schools. They prefer a world where children are taught by non-unionized teachers in charter schools that profit from our tax dollars. Which is why it’s bizarre to the point of being Orwellian that they have granted $1 million by the Dow Foundation to “fund education policy research”. Chad Phillips at the Michigan Populist Blog has the story:

While it is great that the Dow Foundation is donating a million dollars for educational research, it is troubling that the Mackinac Center for Public Policy is the organization conducting the research.…
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Michigan Lt. Gov. Calley attends Todd Courser & Cindy Gamrat’s tea party Bigotfest 2015

This past weekend, newly-elected extremist tea partiers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat held “The Powwow”, a gathering of tea partiers with the subtitle, “Going on the Offense”. Given the line-up, “offense” (as in “offensive”) was the operative word in the title, of course.

Courser and Gamrat, who recently released their Manifesto designed to turn Michigan into a theocracy, invited notorious Republican bigot Dave Agema along with a host of other big name bigots to speak to the roughly 300 attendees.

Also in attendance was Michigan’s own Lt. Governor Brian Calley, shown here during Gamrat’s swearing-in ceremony:


[Photo courtesy of Progress Michigan, used with permission.]

Bigotfest 2015 was so toxic with the involvement of Agema that even the conservative corporatist group Mackinac Center declined to participate after Agema was announced as a speaker:

The Mackinac Center’s focus is policy, not politics.…
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The Koch brothers in Michigan news. As in actually creating “the news”.

The Koch brothers are in the news a lot these days. Yeah, they are written about IN news stories, of course. But that’s not what I’m talking about. The Koch brothers are in the news by actually creating the news in a way that promotes their own corporatist ideology that anything that is good for private corporations is good. Period. Through their various front groups, they are infiltrating the newspapers through corporate-friendly articles and, more commonly, through op-eds written by people who work for one of their front groups.

And they’ve been busy right here in Michigan this week.

Media Matters points out that a Koch brothers-worshipping op-ed in the Midland Daily News was actually written by Timothy Nash who is basically a Koch employee:

An op-ed in Michigan’s Midland Daily News praising the billionaire Koch brothers and defending their relentless spending intended to influence elections failed to disclose the author’s significant connections to the Koch brothers.…
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UPDATED: Mackinac Center is outraged – OUTRAGED! – that we spend more on teachers than on prisons

Most of the time, when I read stuff slithering out of the Mackinac Center’s propaganda arm Michigan Capitol Confidential, I just shrug it off with a Reaganesque, “there they go again”. But every once in a while their effluvium is so nonsensical that it makes me read and reread it again to make sure that it isn’t something coming from The Onion. One of their posts yesterday, titled “Michigan Now Spending More on Teacher Retiree Liabilities Than Prisons”, is in that category.

The thrust of the post, and I’m not kidding here, is that it is simply outrageous that, in Michigan, we’re spending more on teachers than on prisons.…

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Administrative law judge rules that MEA must allow teachers to leave union at any time

After losing in court countless times, the corporatist front group Mackinac Center has finally won a round. This week, an administrative law judge ruled that the Michigan Education Association (MEA) teachers union must end its decades-old policy of having an “opt-out month” and allow its members to leave at any time. The judge’s ruling is essentially a recommendation to the the Michigan Employment Relations Council (MERC) which has the final say on the matter.

Members of the Michigan Education Association should be able to resign from the union at any time, and not just during the month of August, an administrative law judge ruled this week.…
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Corporate front groups pushing laughable “National Employee Freedom Week” and other anti-union efforts

Despite the success of groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the State Policy Network (SPN) and their affiliates, and other related anti-union corporate front groups in making states like Michigan so-called “Right to Work” states, these same groups are having far less success in actually getting people to leave their unions. In Michigan, for example, only around 1% of their members quit the Michigan Education Association teachers union after Michigan became a right to work state. The fact is that union membership as a percentage of the work force in our state has remained largely flat since right to work was passed and the number of people who belong to a union increased by 4,000 last year.…

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Michigan Education Association (MEA) launches site to educate members about Mackinac Center

The corporatist front group Mackinac Center is waging a no-holds barred, blatant attack to destroy teachers unions and they seem to have a particular hatred of the Michigan Education Association (MEA). The group, heavily funded by millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers and the DeVos family, is shameful in their approach. They have used the Teacher of the Year to promote their anti-union agenda. Earlier this month, the sent out emails to every teacher in over 50 districts encouraging them to leave their union. They followed that up with a mailer to teachers’ homes.

The MEA is fully aware of this campaign to destroy them and has been working behind the scenes to build a portal to educate their members about the Mackinac Center and, equally important, why an MEA membership is so important to them.…

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Mackinac Center continues its efforts to encourage freeloading & destroy teachers union with mass mailing

Last week I wrote about how the corporatist front group Mackinac Center had sent a mass email to teachers in over 50 school districts in Michigan encouraging them to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of the two largest teachers unions in the state.

Their effort didn’t stop there. This week, teachers across the state received postcards in the mail urging them to freeload off the work their union does on their behalf to secure reasonable wages and benefits by leaving the union. This shameless effort to destroy the MEA is transparent in its intent: starve the MEA of the funds it needs to operate to help teachers work with the dignity they deserve and to be adequately compensated for the essential service they provide to society.…

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AUDIO: Mackinac Center staffer claims emails urging teachers to leave union aren’t “political” (UPDATED)

po·lit·i·cal – /pəˈlitikəl/ – adjective: of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country

Updated with video of Rachael Siemen asking her question.

Yesterday at a forum at the Michigan House Office Building, the Mackinac Center brought in a representative from another notorious corporatist front group, The Heritage Foundation, to spew propaganda regarding the raising of the minimum wage. During the question and answer period following the presentation, UAW Local 6000 member Rachael Siemen asked Mackinac Center staffer Vincent Vernuccio a simple question regarding a recent email sent spammed out to thousands of public school teachers in Michigan urging them to leave the Michigan Education Association teachers union.…

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BREAKING: Mackinac Center using public school email system to encourage teachers to leave their union (UPDATED)

NOTE: Updated to clarify the restriction on unions using official school emails to conduct business.

NOTE 2: This post has been updated HERE.

The anti-union corporatist group the Mackinac Center is using public school email systems to encourage teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of two major teachers unions in the state. I have confirmed that at least five teachers in the Livonia school district received the following email in their school email accounts:

From: Peter Boyd
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Subject: August Opt-Out
To: [NAME REDACTED]@livoniapublicschools.org

Dear Colleague:

My name is Peter Boyd, and I’m a high school science teacher in the Martin school district.

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