Labor, Michigan, Teachers — October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Anti-union “Protecting Michigan Taxpayers” sues PTA for Prop 2 endorsement


Whoa. Now they’re getting REALLY desperate

Congressman Gary Peters sent out a statement today revealing that the anti-union, pro-Big Business “Protecting Michigan Taxpayers” sued the Michigan Parent Teachers Association (PTA) last week for their endorsement of Proposal 2, the Protect Working Families ballot proposal that would put collective bargaining protections in our state constitution.

The Michigan PTA announced their endorsement a couple of weeks ago saying:

When teachers have the right to collectively bargain, they use their voice to fight for what’s right for our schoolchildren. Teachers bargain for training, smaller class sizes and the materials they need to keep kids safe and to improve educational outcomes. As the voice of parents across our state, we support collective bargaining.”

Congressman Peters had this rebuke for the anti-union group that is now suing the PTA:

The notion that nonprofits cannot take positions or advocate on ballot proposals is simply false. It is irresponsible to charge the PTA with misconduct, just as it is reckless to charge that Proposal 2 will have a negative impact on child safety. Our PTAs support public policies that ensure the best education for the children of Michigan, and Proposal 2 does just that. Proposal 2 opponents have recklessly attacked Michigan’s teachers and parents, but it’s not surprising since they have consistently sided against the interests of Michigan families.

It is not illegal for nonprofits to take a position on ballot proposals and to be involved in public policy discussions. It happens all the time. The Michigan Nonprofit Association, who has not taken a position on Proposal 2, says that 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted by law to take positions on policy issues, such as collective bargaining.

However, when well-funded special interest groups become desperate after seeing that they may lose some ground, they resort to frivolous lawsuits to confuse voters. We’ve seen this time and time again this year so it’s not surprising that Protecting Michigan Taxpayers would go this route. It’s actually quite revealing and I suspect that when parents find out that a Big Business consortium is suing the PTA, they’re going think twice about this proposal and realize that it IS in the best interests of students to have teachers collective bargaining rights protected.

The most amazing thing about this suit is that the Michigan PTA hasn’t given a dime to this or any other ballot proposal group. It’s just an endorsement. And, for that, they get sued.

These Big Business lobbyists really are shameless, aren’t they?

My endorsement of a YES vote on Proposal 2 can be found HERE.