Cherry Picking: More Day Care Union Connections?

My recent blog post titled "Connecting the Day Care Dots," cited numerous documents, video clips and websites in an exhaustive and comprehensive effort to piece together the inception of the Michigan Home-Based Child Care Council (MHBCCC).  The MHBCCC is the state entity against which home-based day care owners were unionized by the AFSCME/UAW-bred Child Care Providers-Together Michigan (CCPTM).

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

The post included some links pointing toward possible involvement by the Granholm administration and Lt. Gov. John Cherry

Here's some more information to consider. 

As we've mentioned previously, the MHBCCC was created through an "interlocal agreement" (ILA) between the Michigan Department of Human Services and Flint-based Mott Community College.  Also, as mentioned in the previous blog post, a particular conference call took place between representatives of Mott, DHS and the governor's office.

One of the Mott representatives listed by the college as a participant is a certain Gary Corbin, a "consultant for MCC."

A little research finds that Corbin is a former state senator and state Democratic Party chairman who works as a lobbyist for Mott, under Corbin Consulting, LLC. According to the minutes, Corbin was even recognized by a college trustee at a board meeting held June 22, 2009:

"Trustee Joseph acknowledged College lobbyist and former State Senator Gary Corbin in the audience."

A December 2009 Flint Journal article also mentions Corbin's work with Mott:

"Former Vienna Township state legislator and state Democratic Party chairman Gary Corbin collected more than $150,000 in three years for his work with Corbin Consulting on behalf of Mott College, one-third of that for what MCC calls "community relations work with local constituents, including local businesses and local labor organizations."

Here's where the connections get even more interesting.

According to his state of Michigan website biography, Lt. Gov. John Cherry worked for Corbin:

"Cherry's interest in politics began as a teenager through organizing and political activism.  He took a job as administrative assistant to former State Senator Gary Corbin..."

The bio then mentions what Cherry did following his stint with Corbin:

"...later serving as political director for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO until his election to the Michigan House."

AFSCME, as stated above, is the partner union which formed the Child Care Providers-Together Michigan, the so-called union to Michigan's 40,000-plus home day care owners and providers.

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.