Union Criticism May Have Helped Candidate Win

BRIGHTON, Mich. — A union mailing that criticized a Brighton Area Schools board of education candidate may have helped him win election, the winner told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

Newcomer John Conely won a spot on the school board on Nov. 2 as the leading vote-getter in a field of three, the Press & Argus reported. He told the Press & Argus that a postcard mailed by the teachers union that linked him to a string of lawsuits may have backfired.

The Press & Argus published a report before the election saying that 13 of the 21 lawsuits involved Conely's father, not the younger Conely.

Union leadership came under fire for the mailing, the Press & Argus reported. Barry Goode, president of the Brighton Education Association and the 8-D Coordinating Council's political action committee, earlier disputed that there were inaccuracies in the postcard and could not be reached after the election for comment, according to the Press & Argus.

Conely has said he would favor linking employee compensation to state funding, so that compensation goes up or down as funding increases or decreases, the Press & Argus reported.

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, "Union attack ad may have helped critic win school board seat," Nov. 3, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Michigan School District Collective Bargaining Agreements"