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MLive falsely pits Gov. Snyder and the West Michigan Policy Forum organizers as in opposition on Right to Work

September 10, 2012

Yesterday, MLive posted an article by business reporter Rick Haglund with the following headline, Right to Work still a thorn in Gov. Synder’s side.

The context of Haglund’s article is Gov. Rick Snyder’s visit to Grand Rapids this Thursday, where he will address members of the West MI Policy Forum at their bi-annual conference.

Haglund states in the second paragraph, “Snyder repeatedly has said right to work is a divisive issue and that he doesn’t want the Legislature to pass a bill on the measure.” It is true that Snyder has said on numerous occasions that he would prefer to not push for Right to Work legislation in Michigan, but that doesn’t mean he will oppose it.

The rest of Haglund’s article tries to further the idea that Snyder is in opposition to groups like the West Michigan Policy Forum (WMPF). The MLive business reporter cites the President of the WMPF, Jared Rodriguez who says, “Freedom to work puts trust in individual workers and allows them to make a personal choice about whether they want to join a labor union.”

Despite framing the article in such a way as to present Gov. Snyder as in conflict with the West Michigan Policy Forum, Haglund offers no real substance to such a claim, nor does he present any information on the WMPF’s perspective on Right to Work.

The West MI Policy Forum has made Right to Work legislation for Michigan one of their main goals since the founding conference in 2008. At the 2010 conference, the group brought to town anti-union propagandist Rick Berman, who presented on tactical approaches to making Right to Work a reality in Michigan.

What I think Gov. Snyder is doing by not taking a strong pro Right to Work stance is buying time. The unions in Michigan have countered the Right to Work possibility by pushing forward a November Ballot Initiative, the Project Our Jobs campaign. If that initiative passes in November, there will be a serious legal battle to overturn it. If it doesn’t pass, Michigan legislators who have aggressively advocated for Michigan to adopt Right to Work legislation will no doubt move forward with proposing such legislation, which means it will then come to Snyder to be signed into law. If Snyder was really against such legislation he would make it clear by stating publicly that he would veto such legislation if it passed in the legislature. He has not done so to date.

In addition to Synder having never said he would veto Right to Work legislation, his commitment to anti-union policies and positions has been pretty clear. In fact, one could argue that Snyder has been following the game plan of the West MI Policy Forum and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy ever since he took office nearly two years ago.

Snyder signed onto the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax, implemented the Emergency Financial Manager Law, has tied revenue sharing for municipalities by their ability to downsize their workforce and privatize public services and has supported greater movement to privatize public education by attacking public education.

GRIID plans to be at the West Michigan Policy Forum conference this week to report on the two-day event, an event that Snyder will fit right in with, despite MLive’s attempt to present him as a dissident to conservative policies.

By the way, MLive is a sponsor of the West Michigan Policy Forum, so don’t expect them to provide any critical analysis of the conference.

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