More state government worker politics. Tenth in a series.
Background from the first article in this series:
Thousands of home-based health care providers have been forced into a union because they receive assistance from the state while they take care of loved ones who are disabled. The Service Employees International Union receives close to $6 million annually in forced dues from this abusive arrangement.
House Bill 4003 would end this injustice by clarifying that Michiganders who care for relatives in their own homes are not government employees, and hence are not appropriate targets for government unions. That bill has passed the House but is stuck in the Senate. While we wait for the Senate to act, the SEIU continues to siphon money that was meant to help families.
Here's one example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report.
Colorado Workers for Innovative and New Solutions (WINS) is a group that advocates higher pay and more generous benefits for Colorado state government employees. It claims to have 31,000 members, resulting from the collaboration of three state employee groups. The Service Employees International Union sent Colorado WINS nearly $2.4 million in 2010. Slightly less than half of that amount was described as organizing or organizing research, while the rest consisted of subsidies and rebates to members.
Colorado WINS is clearly intended to facilitate lobbying in the Colorado state capitol. Its website promotes a bill-tracking email service, and the organization has a fairly active Twitter account with frequent updates on goings-on at the state capitol. Colorado WINS also provides member services such as discounts on eye and dental care, credit counseling, scholarships and discounts on rental cars. While Colorado WINS is less overtly ideological than most other SEIU projects, it is still largely a lobbying group focused on the concerns of a particular interest group: employees of Colorado state government.
Colorado WINS is one of many organizations that Michigan taxpayers are indirectly supporting with money that is intended to assist the families of disabled people.
Tomorrow: Benenson Strategy Group.