News Story

Union Money Behind Health Care Ballot Proposal Not Well Hidden

Use of a dummy corporation will keep official disclosure 'secret' until next year

On the surface, it appears that a corporation that was formed just days before a signature petition drive was started to create a ballot proposal that would lock a forced unionization of home health care workers into the state constitution, is the major player behind the ballot proposal.

But one doesn't have to dig too deep to figure out that it is almost certainly the Service Employees International Union that is behind the company promoting the "Keep Home Care Safe" initiative.

"Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Health Care" is the name of the campaign committee for the proposal. According to records filed with the secretary of state, 97 percent of the campaign's money ($1.84 million) has come from a corporation, Home Care First Inc.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan, an SEIU affiliate, is the most likely source of the campaign dollars, although other affiliates of SEIU likely are contributing as well. Under this set-up the unions won't have to disclose what they've spent on the ballot proposal campaign until next year because of campaign finance rules.

The SEIU has a vested interest in this proposed ballot initiative because it is the union behind the scheme that unionized home health care workers in Michigan and has taken more $31 million from those workers since 2005.

More than half of SEIU Healthcare Michigan's finances now come from the union dues taken out of the Medicaid checks sent to Michigan residents (mostly relatives and friends) who participate in the Home Help Program.

The federal Home Help Program was created years ago so elderly and disabled people can receive care at home instead of having to live in nursing homes.

Supporters of the ballot initiative have repeatedly said passing the ballot proposal would create the Home Help Program. In doing so, the campaign apparently hopes most voters won't realize this program has existed for years and will continue regardless of what happens in the election.

At the center of the campaign is Dohn Hoyle, treasurer and co-chairman of the “Keep Home Care Safe” ballot proposal. Hoyle also is executive director of The Arc Michigan, an agency that helps people who have developmental disabilities, and he is a member of the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) board, which is the dummy employer the SEIU used in the establishment and operation of the unionization scheme. Under Hoyle's direction, the Arc donated $50,000 to the MQC3 this past spring.

Hoyle also is the head of Home Care First.

Hoyle did not respond to requests for comment or to answer questions about the Home Help Program, the SEIU's participation or his role with Home Care First.

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.