Mackinac Center in the News

Michigan Supreme Court Wrong on FOIA

WJSM in Benton Harbor, MIRS and the Lansing State Journal are reporting that the Michigan Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s ruling in a key case involving the Freedom of Information Act. … more

Annual Missed Votes Report from

The Detroit Free Press and The Saginaw News both reported on the “Missed Votes Report” assembled by There were 23 legislators who did not miss a vote during the 2009-2010 session, and 18 who missed more than 100 votes each. … more

Show and Tell

Putting more information online and requiring fewer written reports would help increase Michigan government’s transparency and accountability, according to one Mackinac Center analyst. … more

Editorial Cites Center Analyst on Teacher Insurance

Today’s Detroit News editorial cites research by Mike Van Beek, education policy director, regarding teacher health insurance plans, saying “All teachers will have to contribute to the costs of their health care benefits to help (the) state recover.” … more

When Is an Emergency Not an Emergency?

St. Clair County fire departments that want firefighters to accompany ambulances on nonemergency medical calls will end up straining already fragile budgets, Fiscal Policy Director Mike LaFaive told the Port Huron Times Herald… more

Center Suing Kent County Schools, Unions Over 'No-Privatization' Contract Language

The Grand Rapids Press and WOOD-TV are reporting that the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation will file a lawsuit against the Kent County Intermediate School District, nine other school districts and several Michigan Education Association union affiliates over “no-privatization” language included in collective bargaining agreements. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Kent County taxpayers. … more

Privatize the University of Michigan? is reporting that a budget document that discusses potential ways to cut state spending includes a recommendation to “privatize University of Michigan over 5 years.” Mackinac Center analysts recommended the same thing six years ago. … more

Center Analyst Addressed MEA Pay

Education Policy Director Mike Van Beek was a guest today on “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR AM760, where he discussed the expanding payroll of the Michigan Education Association teachers union. … more

Columnist Cites Center Study on Union Disclosure

A columnist in The Washington Examiner Sunday cited a 2004 Mackinac Center study that showed only 42 percent of union members believed that union funds are spent “helping workers get better pay, benefits and working conditions.” … more

Blueprint for Success

Senior Environmental Analyst Russ Harding wrote an Op-Ed that appeared in The Oakland Press today, outlining the points made in his new study titled “Environmental Regulation in Michigan: A Blueprint for Reform.” … more

Bid for Support, Planning Ahead, Par for the Course

WNEM TV-5 and The Saginaw News have picked up Kathy Hoekstra’s discovery that the Saginaw-based company GlobalWatt is far from on-track to fulfill its job-creation promises but is instead reselling India-made solar panels on eBay. … more

An Appealing Appeal

The Detroit News and other media outlets have reported on the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation’s appeal Wednesday of the day care unionization case to the Michigan Supreme Court. … more

Teacher Tenure Law Needs Changed

Jarrett Skorup, research associate for online engagement, was a guest today on “The Ron Jolly Show” on WTCM-AM1270 in Traverse City, where he discussed an article he recently wrote for Michigan Capitol Confidential about teacher tenure reform. … more

Harding Addresses Regulatory Concerns

Senior Environmental Analyst Russ Harding was interviewed on Michigan Public Radio today about the state’s regulatory regime and its negative impact on business. … more

Editorial: End PLAs

An editorial in The Detroit News calls for Gov.-elect Rick Snyder to issue an executive order after taking office that would put an end to project labor agreements, which use a tactic that drives up prices for government construction projects due to the “prevailing wage.” … more

Overton Window Cited by Columnist

A column in The Oakland Press talks about the role of the “Overton Window of Political Possibility” as it relates to tax cuts and federal spending. … more

Property Rights Come in Many Forms

Property rights ranging from natural gas recovery to urban development are the focus of two recent media citations for Mackinac Center analysts. … more

Government Spending Over Par, Overpriced

Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, was cited in two separate stories Saturday about fiscal irresponsibility at the local government level. … more

Littmann: Don't Extend Unemployment Payments

Senior Economist David Littmann told the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal that an extension of federal unemployment payments will not help the economy. … more

Center Analyst Debunks School Funding Myths

Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek authored Op-Eds on school funding myths, including the claim that public school funding is “unstable,” that appeared recently in The Oakland Press. … more

Littmann: Hold Fed Accountable

Senior Economist David Littmann recently wrote in a Detroit News Op-Ed about the need to hold the Federal Reserve Board accountable for the damage it has done to the American economy. … more

Jack McHugh Cited on 'Political Careerists'

A Lansing State Journal editorial today calling for term limit reforms cites Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh, who wrote after the Nov. 2 elections that 86 percent of new legislators are already “political careerists.” … more

Hohman: State Employee Pay, Benefits Costly

Governor-elect Rick Snyder will have to sort through “conflicting information” as he attempts to convince state employees to scale back wages and benefits that are out of line with the private sector, according to an article in that originally appeared in the Gongwer News Service… more

Harding: Regulatory Reform Needed

An Op-Ed in Sunday’s Lansing State Journal by Russ Harding, senior environmental analyst, highlights the points he has made in a new study titled “Environmental Regulation in Michigan: A Blueprint for Reform.” … more

Editorial: Reform Teacher Pay, Benefits

A Detroit News editorial Sunday said that merit pay for public school teachers would “connect pay more closely to the quality of instruction, but also said that teacher benefits is a “better place to find cost savings,” and urged teachers and their unions to lead the reform. … more

Rothwells Good Choice for Snyder, LaFaive Says

Sharon and Doug Rothwell, former Engler administration veterans with corporate experience, are a good choice to head up Gov.-elect Rick Snyder’s transition team, Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told the Detroit Free Press recently. … more

Editorials Draw From Michigan Capitol Confidential

Editorials in both the Port Huron Times-Herald and Livingston Daily Press & Argus about the changes in the Michigan Legislature due to term limits cite research by Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh that first appeared in Michigan Capitol Confidential… more

School Transparency Laws Finally Catching Up With Mackinac Center Analysts' Research

Teacher salaries and school district spending transparency are the focus of two Detroit News articles today that rely on the expertise of Mackinac Center analysts. … more

Littmann on GM IPO

Senior Economist David Littmann is the primary source for a Detroit Free Press article today regarding GM’s IPO, saying it is in “fine shape.” … more

Fuel-Economy Standards Debate Could Shift

A Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives could mean an easing on the federal fuel standards that many think would harm American automakers, Senior Environmental Analyst Russ Harding told Bloomberg recently. … more

Hangar42 Investor in Court Today

The lead investor in the Hangar42 movie studio deal was in court today for a preliminary exam, according to The Grand Rapids Press… more

Labor Files

Labor Policy Director Paul Kersey was a guest recently on "The Greg Marshall Show" on WMKT-AM1270 in Charlevoix, where he discussed how taxpayers foot the bill for public-sector union dues, the need for right-to-work protections in Michigan and how unions spend a fraction of the dues they take from workers on collective bargaining. … more

David Littmann on Gas Prices

David Littmann, senior economist at the Mackinac Center, is cited in The Detroit News today in a story about rising gasoline prices. … more

MSU Continues Plagiarism Investigation

Michigan State University continues to investigate potential plagiarism by one of its professors in a school consolidation study, according to the Student Free Press Association.  … more

Minimum Wage Hypocrisy in Congress

Michigan Business Review reports on a recent Michigan Capitol Confidential story about members of Michigan's Congressional delegation who voted for an increase in the federal minimum wage law but offer unpaid internships in their offices. … more

Story Broken by Michigan Capitol Confidential Becomes Front-Page News in Lansing State Journal

A story Friday in Michigan Capitol Confidential about a CATA bus driver who made $140,000 last year provided the impetus for a front-page story Saturday in the Lansing State Journal… more

Getting Railroaded?

There are renewed calls and more pressure in metro Detroit to build a light-rail from the Oakland County suburbs to downtown Detroit, according to The Detroit News… more

Beast of Burden

Michigan's economy can recover if government places fewer burdens on business, Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman told Fortune Magazine today. … more

GM IPO Raises Questions

As General Motors finalizes plans to begin selling stock again, questions surround the government takeover of the automaker that could affect the share price, according to David Littmann, senior economist. … more

Center President Addresses Ballot Proposals

Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman was on WEYI-TV25 in Saginaw discussing the two ballot proposals Michigan voters will address today. … more

DHS Funding Continues for Forced Unionization

Funding will continue in fiscal 2011 for the Michigan Department of Human Services to operate the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus… more

MEA Ignoring Membership

USA Today notes that a recent article in Michigan Education Digest reports that even though a high percentage of members consider themselves "conservative," the Michigan Education Association has endorsed Democrats in 111 of 114 races statewide. … more

Lehman Cited in National Review on Elections

Mackinac Center President Joseph Lehman is quoted in the November 2010 issue of National Review about the upcoming elections … more

Government Benefits Outpace Private Firms

A new study by Mackinac Center Adjunct Scholar Rick Dreyfuss shows the pension and retiree health care benefits given to public school and other state of Michigan public-sector employees are "out of line" with those offered in the private sector, according to MIRS Capitol Capsule… more

How to Create Jobs

Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, suggests some alternatives for creating jobs after several years of government failure on that front in this Detroit Free Press Op-Ed… more

GlobalWatt Finds Colorado Partner

A Saginaw company under fire for problems associated with its application for tax subsidies in Michigan says it will partner with a Colorado company on a solar module project, according to WJRT-TV 12 in Flint. … more

Con-Con: No Pros, Just Cons

Mackinac Center President Joe Lehman explains why a constitutional convention is not the answer to Michigan's fiscal, labor and regulatory problems in this Op-Ed in the Detroit Free Press today. … more

Fees and Thank You

This recent Michigan Capitol Confidential story by Managing Editor Ken Braun formed the basis for this editorial in The Detroit News… more

L. Brooks Patterson at Center Event

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson was the keynote speaker Thursday night at an event sponsored by the Mackinac Center in metro Detroit. … more

Center Files Motion in Forced Unionization Case

WPBN-WTOM Channels 7&4 in Traverse City is reporting that the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed a motion for reconsideration with the Michigan Court of Appeals in an effort to end the illegal, forced unionization of home-based day care operators. … more

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