Kathy Hoekstra was a communications specialist with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy from 2008 to 2011. She assisted in the Center's media outreach and did reporting for the Center's Michigan Transparency Project and for Michigan Capitol Confidential.

Prior to joining the Mackinac Center staff, Kathy spent nearly 15 years in broadcast journalism. She was an award-winning news anchor and reporter for radio stations in Port Huron and Saginaw and worked for more than a decade in local television news in the state. In addition to her reporting and anchoring duties, Kathy also produced and hosted a weekly public affairs program that involved in-depth coverage of local and statewide issues.

Kathy graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in both communications and English. She is also a graduate and Hall of Fame member of the Specs Howard School of Broadcasting, and she has done graduate work at Saginaw Valley State University.

More Information Trickles Out Regarding Hangar42

Grand Rapids Press reporter Chris Knape continues to dig into the questions raised by the Mackinac Center about a potential $10 million subsidy for a film studio infrastructure project called Hangar42. … more

New Facts Exposed in Hangar42 Investigation

In following up on questions raised by an ongoing Mackinac Center investigation, Grand Rapids Press reporter Chris Knape added two facts to the pattern of information so far known about the proposed Hangar42 film subsidy deal. … more

Cap-and-Trade: A Thorning Subject

Last week, Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman introduced the American Power Act, (Full text, section-by-section summary) the latest version of federal cap-and-trade legislation. Watch this Mackinac Center video to hear what impact this legislation would have on Michigan's economy. … more

'No Comment' from Day Care Union Lawyer on E-Mails, Senate Hearing

On Monday, a Michigan Capitol Confidential story brought to light a series of e-mails between Nick Ciaramitaro, director of legislation and public policy for AFSCME Council 25, and representatives from the Michigan Department of Human Services and the Michigan Home-Based Child Care Council (MHBCCC). … more

Cherry Picking: More Day Care Union Connections?

Coincidence? Perhaps. But these ever-emerging connections deserve attention when representatives from the Michigan Home-Based Child Care Council, the DHS, the union and the administration remain tight-lipped about the origin and purpose of this entire operation. … more

Fourth Time's a Charm

Tuesday's committee hearing gave senators a chance to quiz the MHBCCC about its purpose, its creation through an interlocal agreement between the Department of Human Services and Mott Community College, and the big question: the council's relationship with the Child Care Providers-Together Michigan or CCPTM, the so-called "day care union."
The testimony disclosed at least one unexpected revelation. … more

Connecting the Day Care Union Dots

A revelation during a Michigan Senate committee hearing last week is drawing some new connections to the mechanism that enabled some 40,000 home-based day care owners to be categorized as public employees and unionized. There are indications that some of the so-called dots that need connecting may include the Granholm administration and Lt. Gov. John Cherry. … more

FOIA: One Word Makes a $7 Million Difference

As it turns out, one little word in Michigan's FOIA law is the difference between $0.00 and $6.8 million. … more

Stimulus Helps 4-Year-Old Buy New Home

Had Joe Biden's stimulus-boosting, damage-control visit to mid-Michigan this week been made open to the public rather than just a few hand-picked visitors, maybe someone could have asked him why a four-year-old "taxpayer" received a "first-time homebuyer" tax credit of $8,000. … more

Mapping Out an Underhanded Scheme

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation continues its quest for answers in the day care scheme being perpetrated by the Michigan Department of Human Services and a so-called home child care union by filing a motion with the Court of Appeals to reconsider its curt dismissal of Dec. 30, 2009.
It's worth noting that Michigan is not unique in having had day care providers unionized. In Michigan the dues are siphoned directly from subsidy payments.
We compiled a handy, interactive map which displays the states that currently have unionized home day care providers. Simply click on the icon for each state to open an information box about each state's home child care union set-up. … more