News Story

Arc Michigan Exec's Name-Calling Goes Against Group's Own Pledge

Dohn Hoyle, who also is Prop 4 spokesman, called parent caregiver Robert Haynes 'an idiot'

One of the leaders of the disability-rights movement may have violated the spirit of a campaign endorsed by his own organization to end hate speech. In a news article pubished by the Detroit Free Press, Dohn Hoyle, executive director of The Arc Michigan, called a retired Detroit police officer who takes care of his disabled adult son and daughter "an idiot"

Hoyle is described as a disability-rights activist in his role at The Arc, which lists as its mission a commitment “to ensure people with Developmental Disabilities are valued.” The Arc Services has supported the “Shred the Hate” campaign started by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council. The campaign is trying to stop use of words like "retard," which the MDDC says was created to replace words like "idiot."

Hoyle is also listed as a spokesman for Proposal 4 which would lock into the state consitution the unionization of tens of thousands of home health care aides who provide care to lower income disabled individuals with assistance from a modest Medicaid subsidy. Most of the caregivers are family or friends of the disabled individuals.

Haynes and his wife, Patricia, take care of their two severely disabled adult children at their Macomb Township home. They are opposed to the forced unionization scheme, which was orchestrated by the Service Employees International Union when Jennifer Granholm was governor. They also oppose Proposal 4.

The SEIU takes about $6 million a year from the Medicaid money of the elderly and disabled in Michigan as "union dues." The union has taken more than $32 million to date from people who mostly are taking care of family and friends.

"Mr. Hoyle owes a prompt apology to Mr. Haynes, his family, and the rest of the developmental disability community," said Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "The Arc Michigan board is capable of determining if that is sufficient."

Yasmina Bouraoui, deputy director of the MDDC, and Vendella Collins, executive director of the MDDC, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Christine Lerchen, president of the The Arc Michigan board of directors, also didn't respond to a request for comment.

Hoyle also claimed Haynes was recruited by the Mackinac Center to speak out against Proposal 4. Actually, Haynes contacted the Mackinac Center with his story after reading a story in Michigan Capitol Confidential about the union skimming money from home help providers.


See also:

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