News Story

Legislators Get Sworn In — And Get Cookies

Union protest was meant to shame those who voted for right-to-work bill

The union cookie crumbs (click to enlarge)

LANSING — The Democrats got cookies; the Republicans got crumbs.

That's how members of Michigan’s 97th legislature were welcomed by union members here on Wednesday. 

Well, that and a litany of insults, threats and attempts at intimidation by a handful of union protesters gathered outside the building who were rallying against the state's new right-to-work law.

"You're a dirtbag," someone yelled at two men dressed in suits and trench coats as they walked into the Capitol. 

"Did you vote against workers?" a woman holding a sign with a picture of Rep. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, yelled at someone who was not a legislator. 

They numbered about 200, or about 0.0003 percent of the state' unionized workforce. There were lots of "hey hey ho ho" chants and recycled, cliché-filled signs. At least one protester drew a Hitler mustache on the picture of a state legislator. So much for civility. 

Those who weren’t screaming at anyone wearing a tie outside the Capitol delivered cookies — or crumbs — to legislator offices. It was part of an effort coordinated by a group called, We are Michigan, that apparently was aimed at making a point about how workers and the state's economy will be ruined because of the worker freedom bill. 

One young man told staffers in Rep. Stamas' office that the crumbs represented the middle class. Get it? Crumbling middle class …me neither.

The protest was supposed to shame legislators who voted for the right-to-work bill and send a message to the new ones that there are consequences for voting against union interests.

In reality, it was just a sparsely attended rally for union members to vent their anger and mug for the cameras — only this time they brought treats.