News Story

Father Taking Care of His Disabled Adult Kids Called An 'Idiot' by Proposal 4 Spokesman

The Arc Michigan Executive Director Dohn Hoyle resorts to name-calling against Robert Haynes because Haynes doesn't support forced unionization scheme

To Dohn Hoyle, the executive director of The Arc Michigan, Robert Haynes is an "idiot."

Hoyle, who heads a statewide social service agency, called Haynes an "idiot" this week in an article in the Detroit Free Press. His comments about the retired Detroit Police officer, who with his wife, Patricia, take care of their adult children and are opposed to Proposal 4, came in response to statements Robert Haynes made calling into question the unionization scheme his family has been forced into.

"I thought it was way out of line," Haynes said. "He doesn't know me. I thought it was kind of offensive. They can't articulate their facts so they resort to name-calling."

Hoyle, who also is spokesman for the group supporting Proposal 4, has refused repeated requests for comment over the past couple of months.

In regard to Robert Haynes, he told the Free Press that Haynes was an "idiot" who was recruited by the Mackinac Center.

Hoyle got that wrong, too.

In early 2010, Michigan Capitol Confidential was covering a day care unionization scheme. At the time, an organization known as the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council was set up as the “employer” of 40,000 home-based day care workers. The group was skimming money from day care workers at the behest of the Michigan AFSCME, the UAW and the administration of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

On May 3, 2010, reporter Tom Gantert did a story about a batch of emails CapCon received through a FOIA request. Those emails documented behind-the-scenes action from the above entities as they tried to make this "unusual" and unprecedented dues skim work.

On May 4, 2010, Robert Haynes sent the following email to the general mailbox of Michigan Capitol Confidential:

Mr. Gantert,

    I read your article with great interest. My wife and I have two special needs children.  My daughter is 32 and my son is 29.  They are 100 percent dependant on us for their care.  We get a monthly SSI check to assist with their care.  Last year we were put into the SEIU without our knowledge.  In our point of view we are not home care providers but are parents to our children. We didn't join the SEIU.  We now pay monthly dues that is deducted from the check without even having a say in it.  So yes this is a money grab that has been forced on people.


                                                 Robert C Haynes

Haynes contacted the Mackinac Center because he thought it was wrong that the Service Employees International Union was taking money from his family.

At the time, the SEIU "dues skim" was almost unknown. Only a single article in December 2009 was done discussing the eventual $32 million money grab. Despite a state law that says people like the Hayneses are not state workers and therefore not eligible to be unionized, the SEIU continues to take about $6 million a year from home-based caregivers, most of whom are taking care of their own family or friends.

The Haynes family is losing hundreds of dollars each year to union bosses they have never had contact with and who provide nothing in return. Robert Haynes said he did not know he was in the union until dues starting coming out of his family’s check. He never heard back from the SEIU despite repeated requests for information.

Robert and Patricia Haynes have two adult children — Melissa and Kevin — with cerebral palsy. Robert Haynes says they are "like 6-month-olds in adult bodies." The husband-wife team work hard, gratefully accept the money offered from the state through Medicaid and have never sought the spotlight.

Yet for speaking out for his family and for what he believes in, Robert Haynes is now being called an "idiot" by Hoyle.

The website for The Arc Michigan says the organization exists to "promote the value and potential of all people."

Except, apparently for Robert Haynes and others who are lovingly taking care of family and friends and disagree with the SEIU's forced unionization scheme.

Michigan Capitol Confidential Senior Capitol Correspondent Tom Gantert contributed to this report.


Here is a video done this past March from Mackinac Center senior investigative analyst, Anne Schieber, documenting the story of the Haynes Family.

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.