News Story

SEIU Sent Key GOP Senator $5K on Day Bill to End 'Forced Unionization' Arrived in Senate

Home health care unionization continues to this day

Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Roger Khan, R-Saginaw, received $5,000 from the Service Employees International Union on June, 9, 2011. That was the day House Bill 4003 was sent to the Senate, one day after its passage in the House.

HB 4003 was drafted to end the Home Healthcare Dues Skim, under which the SEIU has received more than $28 million. These taxpayer dollars were, and continue to be, taken from home health care worker checks and given to the SEIU as union dues.

According to multiple sources, Sen. Kahn was put in charge of HB 4003 after it was sent to the Senate floor in late 2011. Delaying passage of HB 4003 in the Senate keeps the dues flowing to the SEIU.

This dues flow amounts to roughly $6 million annually, which the SEIU could use for political purposes

“It is unfortunate that both Mr. Kahn and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, have mistaken their term limits for integrity limits,” said John Daniele of the Metro Detroit Freedom Coalition. “We sincerely hope that they are able to remember that the reason they were elected to their positions included acting to protect the taxpayers of Michigan from funding leftist agendas aimed at destroying American values.”

Tom Stump of the Saginaw Tea Party pointed out that money seems to play a central role in the overall relationship between Senate Republicans and the SEIU

“Since 2006 SEIU has been gifted $28 million, most of which was from struggling families caring for a loved one. This is an excellent return on the few contributions, such as Kahn’s,” Stump said. “As one who has supported Republicans, I have to wonder why I or other conservatives would be on the same donors list as Obama’s shock troops. The Senate’s continued silence will come at a cost.”

Based on information available on the Michigan Secretary of State website, the $5,000 that the SEIU sent to Sen. Kahn was in the form of an in-kind campaign contribution.

About 43,000 home health care workers were unionized in 2006 under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm in a process hidden from the news media, the Legislature, the public and probably 80 percent the workers themselves. More recent statistics show that the number of workers now involved is closer to 60,000.

This process was a forced unionization. A dummy employer, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council, was used to facilitate an unpublicized statewide unionization election, in which less than 20 percent of those involved returned ballots.

Last spring the Legislature de-funded MQC3, but emails show that Kahn worked behind the scenes over the summer to keep the forced unionization structure intact, which, in turn, keep the deductions flowing to SEIU. Those emails were obtained by Mackinac Center for Public Policy through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Sen. Kahn's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.