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SEIU vs. Koch Brothers: Whose Campaign Cash is More Objectionable?

1:40 PM, May 1, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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The Mackinac Center is reporting that the Michigan SEIU has lost more than 80 percent of its members after Michigan passed a right-to-work law. The hemorrhaging membership is the result of the law ending an appalling extortion racket that siphoned taxpayer money to the union and forced thousands of home caregivers to pay SEIU dues unwillingly:

More than 44,000 home-based caregivers no longer are part of the SEIU Healthcare Michigan, according to federal reports filed by the union.  The workers previously were forced to pay dues or fees to the SEIU after the union orchestrated a scheme that took money from the Medicaid checks of the people the workers were caring for in homes across the state. The "dues skim" ended in 2013, but not before the SEIU took more than $34 million from the elderly and disabled across the state.   According to the union's LM-2 report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, 44,347 home-based caregivers have opted to stay out of the union.  That number represents virtually all of the long-term home-based caregivers affected by the dues skim. It also is more than 80 percent of the 55,265 members the union claimed to have at the end on 2012.

Bear in mind that many "home caregivers" are family members that certainly don't profit off caring for indigent and sick family members. The SEIU was skimming dues out of government assistance checks:

Haynes said that every month, $30 was deducted from their children’s Medicare payments, and, while it did not break their bank, they objected on principle.  “They couldn’t get me a raise, they couldn’t get me more vacation time and they certainly did nothing to improve my children’s care,” she said. “I’d hate to say it, but in my opinion, they were stealing.”

It's worth noting that the SEIU is one of the Democratic party's biggest funders. The group was the top outside spender for Democrats in 2012, and it spent $80 million electing Obama and Democrats in 2008. 

So when the SEIU and Democrats collude to take tax money otherwise meant to help and cycle some of that money back into Democratic political coffers, one would think this appalling example of corruption and cronyism would be a campaign issue. At the very least, this should be a great shame to Democrats in Michigan. 

Instead, Harry Reid gets plenty of mainstream news coverage denouncing the Koch Brothers as "un-American" for the crime of spending their own money to fund Republican campaigns. And it's left to a free-market think tank like the Mackinac Center to do the reporting on how one of the Democratic party's biggest funders is in effect stealing public funds meant to help parents struggling to take care of kids with cerebral palsy.

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