SEIU Dues Skim All About Politics

If a corporation in Michigan teamed up behind the scenes with government officials to extract money from the checks of taxpayers and promised to spend that money electing Mitt Romney and other Republicans, what would be the reaction?

MLive reporter David Eggert wrote that "Michigan’s union-backed ballot measures are a hot topic at the Democratic National Convention." How the union heads frame the issue of the home health care ballot is significant.

Marge Faville, president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan, "a union of home health workers headed toward extinction unless voters are persuaded to keep it alive" is quoted in the story.

"Why do they want to [defeat the ballot initiative]? The same reason they're going after the teachers, the child care workers, the auto workers — because unions are effective, we make sure Democrats get (into office) and we're going to make sure Obama gets in." (Bold added.)

The article, like many in the media, misses the larger point: The home health care ballot initiative is not about the collective bargaining "rights" of workers. Those workers will maintain the exact same ability to bargain that they have now. The issue is over whether the SEIU can forcibly extract dues money from people who are not state employees and who are largely looking after their own special-needs children or the children of friends and family.

The union's own attorney has admitted as much. When the SEIU filed suit in federal court in June to block a new state law that would have ended its dues skim, Scott Kronland told Judge Nancy Edmunds that, "The union, a First Amendment advocacy organization, will suffer irreparable damage" because it would be denied use of the dues money in the upcoming election cycle.

The alteration to the Michigan Constitution would lock in money for a select union which, by its president's admission, would like to continuing using that money to "make sure Democrats" are elected and that "Obama gets in." The union has taken nearly $32 million from Michigan workers so far.

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.