Center Media Highlights: Events, Press and YouTube

Mackinac Media
The Center held two separate events (a luncheon and an evening event). Featured guests included Gov. Snyder, Gov. Bob Wise, Mike Flanagan and other education leaders in Michigan. Videos of the events can be viewed at
The union front group calling itself “Protect Our Jobs” seeks to enshrine damaging collective bargaining privileges as rights in the Michigan Constitution. It has received scant critical attention in the media — that is, except from Mackinac Center analysts.

Paul Kersey, former director of labor policy, described the ballot initiative that would undo spending reforms achieved over the past year as “self-centered and reckless” in radio interviews including “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR AM760 and “The Vic McCarty Show” on WMKT AM1270 in Traverse City. Kersey also was cited on the matter by The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. A Viewpoint commentary on the ploy by Senior Legal Analyst Patrick J. Wright and Senior Editor Thomas A. Shull appeared in the Detroit Legal News and the Dearborn Times-Herald.

“Protect Our Jobs” also put out a YouTube video including footage of President Joseph G. Lehman from our “Evening with the Mackinac Center” event last November, which featured Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Gov. Rick Snyder. And what did Joe say that the group found so offensive?

“We advance free-market ideas unapologetically, because they are better for all people.”

Scary stuff, huh?

Michigan Capitol Confidential continues to draw national media attention as it exposes the folly of corporate welfare and immoderate central planning. It reported in early April on a video it
had uncovered that showed President Obama, Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow all praising electric car battery maker A123. CapCon earlier had reported that the west Michigan company, which received some $390 million in subsidies, laid off 125 workers after giving its top executives large raises. The Washington Times and National Review both cited CapCon’s coverage of the issue.

CapCon again drew national attention, this time from Instapundit, Hot Air, Townhall, Reason and The Washington Times, for a story about a Michigan teacher who said she was upset that she could not retire at age 47 with full benefits.

Senior Economist David Littmann and Kersey appeared on Fox Business News and CNBC, respectively, to discuss the financial and labor problems plaguing the city of Detroit.

As the previous issue of Impact detailed, the Center and CapCon were at the forefront in covering and analyzing Indiana’s successful campaign to become the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. As if on cue, union lawsuits began flowing to combat the Hoosier State’s newfound employee freedom. One lawsuit in particular claimed that a right-to-work law where union employees would be “forced” to work alongside non-union employees was akin to slavery. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright was cited in the Daily Caller, and said on Beckmann’s show that these claims “expand the definition of chutzpah.”

Kersey was cited on the possibility of a right-to-work law in Michigan by The Saginaw News, WEMU public radio and Investor’s Business Daily, telling the latter that union bosses object to the matter because they don’t want to be held accountable to rank-and-file members who would voluntarily join a union under right-to-work protections.

A Viewpoint by Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, about Michigan’s laws giving beer and wine distributors a wholesale monopoly proved very popular, appearing in The Saginaw News, the Bay City Times, the Grand Rapids Press, The Flint Journal, the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the Sterling Heights Source and the Shelby Township Advisor.

James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy, laid out the reasons and steps for reforming the school employee pension system, including radio interviews with stations in Lansing,
Ann Arbor and Traverse City; an Op-Ed in the Detroit Free Press and Dearborn Times-Herald and a citation in The Detroit News.

In late May, the Center hosted Gov. Rick Snyder and former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise at a luncheon where they discussed the benefits of virtual learning. Gov. Wise, a Democrat who also served in Congress, was the keynote speaker at an evening discussion the same day that also featured State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan and Oxford Community Schools Superintendent William Skilling. The Grand Rapids Press, MIRS News, Gongwer News Service and the Midland Daily News included coverage of the events. You can watch them at