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Gre Steimel

  A        h
MEA Research


  ril
Apr 21, 2011
                                                  Foreword

The Mackinac Center for Policy Research is the largest conservative state-level policy think
tank in the nation. It was established by the state's leading conservative activists to promote
conservative free market, pro-business policies. Reflected by its board of directors and those
funding its operations, the Center works to advance its policy objectives primarily though its
publications, but has an increasing physical presence throughout the state. Its research
routinely reaches conservative conclusions. The Mackinac Center has moved beyond
Michigan by hosting think tank schools that have lead to the franchising of its operations in
every state and 37 other countries.


Establishment

Founded in 1987, the Mackinac Center was created with funding by the little-known
Cornerstone Foundation. Created by Dykema Gossett attorney Richard D. McLellan and
located in the same building as the Dykema Gossett law firm, Cornerstone’s original board
included McLellan, then-Senator John Engler, and D. Joseph Olson then General Council for
Amerisure Insurance. Fundraising activity was active from 1984 to 1991, with peak activity
in 1987 when Cornerstone established the Mackinac Center. The insurance industry
(primarily Citizen’s) provided initial funding, amounting to $306,382 during this period.
Various officials of Dow Cornering and Dow Chemical paid $335,986.1

Its creation was driven by the insurance industry’s call for product liability reform, its interest
in the Accident Fund, and by Dow Corning’s concern over silicone breast implant liability.

According to documents filed by the Center with the federal government, its activities are tax
exempt because it is:

        Conducting policy research on matters affecting Michigan residents and proposing approaches to public
        policy issues consistent with the traditional American values of free-markets, limited government, and
        respect for private property...2

In order to retain this tax exempt status, the Center states that it has not:

        … attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public
        opinion on a legislative matter or referendum.3.

The Mackinac Center is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a network of state-
based think tanks patterned after the Heritage Foundation. Mackinac Center President
Emeritus Lawrence Reed serves on the SPN Board of Directors. The SPN web site, in a
section devoted to forming new conservative think tanks, offers a lobbying handbook:

1
  Behind John Engler: The Big Mac Attack, Guyette, Detroit Metro Times, 1996
2
  IRS Form 990 (2005), p. 3
3
  IRS Form 990 (2005), Schedule A, p. 2
Miss
   sion

    M         enter describ itself in this way:
The Mackinac Ce           bes         t

      M                ter          P
“The Mackinac Cent for Public Policy is a nonp      partisan resear and educati
                                                                  rch                            devoted to imp
                                                                                 ional institute d            proving
     uality of life for all Michigan citizens by pro
the qu                r                                                          tate
                                                   omoting sound solutions to st and local p                  ns.
                                                                                                policy question The
Macki inac Center ass                                             ple,           and
                      sists policy makers, scholars, business peop the media a the public by providing
     tive             f             ues.
object analysis of Michigan issu The goal of all Center rep
                                                   o               ports, commen ntaries and edu               ams
                                                                                                ucational progra is
to equ Michigan ci
     uip              itizens and other decision ma                evaluate policy options.” 4
                                                   akers to better e             y

                              r           d         al            ts
While it promotes itself as a research and educationa institute, it ‘research’ accepts several
contr            nions as fact school cho improve schools, ri
    roversial opin            t:          oice       es            ight to work laws help
                                                                              k
   kers, etc.. As its current president, Jo Lehman s
work            s             p           oe        said:

     w               o                              s              s              g            e,
“We will continue to show how to fix Michigan’s fundamentals by expanding school choice modernizing labor    g
      a              s                                             operty rights, r
laws, aligning state spending to its core priorities, protecting pro                           nterproductive
                                                                                  repealing coun
                                                                5
     ations and endin economic development pr
regula                ng           d                rograms...”

   kinac Cent Board of Director
Mack        ter     o         rs

4
     ut                         eved July 21, 2008, from ww
 Abou the Mackinac Center, retrie             2                                       x?ID=1662
                                                          ww.mackinac.org/ article.aspx
5
     d
 Reed to Become Pr              tus           ac
                  resident Emerit of Mackina Center; Boar Unanimously Names Lehm Successor News
                                                           rd                         man       r,
     se,          08
Releas July 21, 200

    R
MEA Research                                        Page 3                                                  mel
                                                                                                   Greg Steim
     M
The Mackinac Ce           rd
               enter’s Boar of Directo reflect its conservativ Republica roots. Am
                                     ors         s           ve        an        mong
     ast       ent
the pa and prese board me  embers are:

     ard
Richa D. McLe   ellan                   G
                               Dykema Gossett
    ph
Josep Lehman                   MC Presid             rly
                                         dent, former Dow Che                o
                                                                 emical, Cato Institute
    oseph Olson
D. Jo                                   P            al
                               Senior VP and Genera Counsel, A    Amerisure CCompanies
     T
Gail Torreano                           S
                               Chief of Staff to Sen. Engler
Lawrrence W. Reeed             Mackinac Center Pres  sident Emeriitus
John Riecker                             C
                               Hillsdale College and Comerica B  Bank
Marg            r
    garet Riecker                       an
                               Republica National C               Dow
                                                     Committee, D Foundation
William Rosenbe erg            Bush Pressidential Cam                        en
                                                     mpaign, Reagan, Millike and Engle  er
                               administraations
    ert
Robe Teeter                    RNC Chai              ster                    sh
                                         irman, Polls for Nixon, Ford, Bus campaign     n
     p
Philip Van Dam                          ney
                               US Attorn under Fo    ord
Gregory Kaza                   Former Re             tate
                                         epublican St Representative
Dick DeVos                               R
                               Amway, Republican C               or
                                                      Candidate fo Governor
     les
Charl Van Eato on                        C
                               Hillsdale College
    r
Peter Cook                              kes
                               Great Lak Mazda, m   major Repub  blican campaaign donor
Paul Gadola                    Judge, Reagan Campa               Federalist So
                                                     aign Chair, F           ociety
Dick Antonini                  Foremost Insurance

   ding
Fund

    M
The Mackinac Ce             s                       or          ions. When a
                enter refuses to disclose who pays fo its operati           asked by De etroit’s
     o          1
Metro Times in 1996, the Cen             dent      nce          d:
                             nter’s Presid Lawren Reed said "Our fund      ding sources are
    arily foundat
prima                       h
                 tions … with the rest coming from c                       duals," but th "…
                                                    corporations and individ            hat
    aling our con
revea                       ould be a trem
                ntributors wo            mendous divversion…"

    009,
In 20 the Cent               es
                 ter’s revenue totaled $3
                                        3,310,018. It funding ha varied sub
                                                    ts         as         bstantially ov
                                                                                       ver
     ears, from ju over $1.7 million in 1998 to a hig of $8 million in 2005 when it’s
the ye           ust         7          1           gh                    5
$1,79            oll         d
     90,963 payro supported a staff of 40 people.




    R
MEA Research                              Page 4                                          mel
                                                                                 Greg Steim
   kinac Cent Non-Profit Funde 2002-20
Mack        ter              ers     009

     us
Aequu Institute                                         00
                                                    $1,00            rket/Christian Science Adv
                                                              Free Mar                        vocacy
     h
Beach Foundation                                        00
                                                    $3,00
Bradle Foundation,Lynde and Harry
     ey                                                 00
                                                  $472,50              c            omponenet heirs
                                                              Electronic and redio co
     don        on,
Brand Foundatio David A.                                00
                                                     2,50     Former D             za
                                                                      Domino's Pizz CEO
     laff       on,
Bretzl Foundatio Hilda E.                               00
                                                    $1,00
Broad Foundation, Eli & Edythe
     d                       e                          00
                                                   $27,50     Homebuilding and retirement
     e          dation
Castle Rock Found                                       00
                                                   $50,00     Coors fouunder's son
Chase Foundation of Virginia
     e                                                  50
                                                   $47,15              an
                                                              JP Morga banking he   eirs
     sler
Chrys Foundatio on                                      00
                                                  $225,00     Automotiv corporation
                                                                        ve
     F
Dart Foundation                                         00
                                                   $20,00     Founder of Dart Conta ainer Corp
DeVo Foundation Daniel and Pamella
    os          n,                                      00
                                                   $50,00     Amway fo ounder son, CCEO DP Fox
                                                              Ventures
DeVo Foundation Dick & Bets
     os           n,             sy                 $70,00
                                                         00   Gov cand              r            Chair
                                                                       didate./former State Rep. C
     os           n,
DeVo Foundation Douglas & Maria  M                  $55,00
                                                         00   Current A            ay)
                                                                       Alticor (Amwa Co-CEO
     os           n,
DeVo Foundation Richard and Helend                       00
                                                    $90,00    Amway fo ounder
                   n,
Donner Foundation William H.                             00
                                                    $20,00             Union Steel C founder
                                                              Heirs of U           Co.
Dow Foundation, Herbert H. and Grace A.
      F           H               d              $2,055,50
                                                         00   Dow Che              er
                                                                      emical founde widow
Dunn's Found. Adv                f
                   vancement of Right Thinkin  ng $576,0000           ent
                                                              Investme company f    founder
Earha Foundation MI
     art           n,                             $333,3000            ar
                                                              White Sta Oil heirs
Exxon nMobil Founddation, TX                             00
                                                    $10,00    Oil corporation
                   ,
Fisher Foundation, Max M. and Marjorie S.                00
                                                     $1,00    Gas statio and real estate
                                                                        ons
Gelman Educational Foundation    n                       00
                                                    $10,00    Gelman Instrument Co  ompany
General Motors Fo oundation, Inc c.                      00
                                                    $30,00    Automotiv corporation
                                                                        ve
Gerst tacker Founda              M
                   ation, Rollin M.               $150,0000   Dow Che              man
                                                                      emical Chairm (retired)
       ver        e
Hanov Insurance Group Foun       ndation, Inc.       $5,50
                                                         00            e            des
                                                              Insurance corp. (includ Citizens)
       en                        d
Hanse Foundation, Robert and Marie                       00
                                                    $25,00    Cogen Te echnologies ffounder
     age
Herita Mark Fou   undation                               00
                                                     $7,00    Christian causes, emp phasis on
evang gelism
      ck
Herric Foundation n                              $1,950,00 Tecumse Engines founder's son
                                                         00           eh
     ory
Hicko Foundation   n                                     00           ent
                                                    $40,00 Investme company f                    mer
                                                                                    founder's form
                                                            wife
Hume Foundation, Jaquelin
     e                                                   00
                                                  $375,00 Basic Veg    getable comppany heir
      H           F
J. P. Humphreys Foundation                               00
                                                    $40,00 TAMKO r                 posite decking
                                                                       roofing ,comp             g
                                                                      s
                                                            founder’s wife
JM Fo oundation                                          00           Milk
                                                    $45,00 Borden M Company heirs  y
Kelly Services, Inc. Foundation, MI
                                 ,                       00
                                                     $3,50 Staffing c corporation
Koch Charitable Fo oundation, Ch harles G.          $50,00 Oil corporation heir, fo
                                                         00                        ounder of Cato o
                                                            Institute
Merillat Foundation Orville D. & Ruth A.
                   n,                                    00
                                                  $195,00 Cabinet m   manufacturer founder's wid dow
Perrig Company Charitable Fo
     go            C             oundation          $36,00 Over-the-
                                                         00                        g
                                                                       -counter drug manufacture er
Peters Foundation, Ruth and Lo   ovett, OH               00
                                                  $525,00 Procter & Gamble heir     rs
Pope Foundation, John William                            00
                                                     $4,50 Variety W Wholesalers re etail chain
                                                            founder
Prince Foundation, Edgar and Elsa
      e                          E                       00
                                                  $125,00 Prince Au                under's widow
                                                                       utomotive fou            w
Rodney Fund                                              00
                                                  $744,50 Detroit Fo   orming founder/Mackinac B  Bd
                                                            member
Roe Foundation
     F                                                   00
                                                  $150,00 Builder M  Marts of American / State P Policy
                                                            Network f  founder
Scaife Foundation, Sarah
      e            ,                                $50,00 Mellon industrial, oil an banking he
                                                         00                         nd            eirs
Schiaavone Family Foundation                             00
                                                    $10,00 Construc                y             d
                                                                      ction company investigated for
                                                            organized crime conne
                                                                       d            ections
Staley Educational Foundation, Richard Seth
      y            l                           h         00
                                                     $1,00

    R
MEA Research                                  Page 5                                             mel
                                                                                        Greg Steim
     acker Founda
Strosa                       s
                ation, Charles J                          50
                                                     $68,75 Dow Cheemical Board member
    A
Van Andel Foundaation, Jay and Betty,                     00
                                                     $20,00 Amway fo           w
                                                                    ounder widow
    on
Walto Family Fouundation                                  00        t
                                                    $100,00 Wall Mart heirs


     e           ons
These contributio total $8,8              e
                             871,200; the remaining r                this
                                                       revenue for t period (   (about $20
     on)
millio was prov                           e            d             ements with the federal
                 vided by entities that are not required to file state          h
goverrnment: indiividuals and corporations. The Mack                r          d
                                                      kinac Center has refused to disclose either
    vidual or corp
indiv                        rs.
                 porate donor Refusing to release co   orporate fina            ces
                                                                     ancing sourc prevents
     ders
outsid from dr   rawing conneections betwween the busi              se          ons
                                                       iness of thes corporatio and the
    arch conclusi
resea                        nions the Ce
                 ions and opin            enter reachess.

     rategic Gran
In Str           ntmaking, Fo
                            oundations and the Scho Privatiza
                                       a          ool                   ment, Richard
                                                              ation Movem           d
    en                                 rds        rporate grant
Cohe estimates that one-half to two-thir of all cor                       “made throu the
                                                              tmaking is: “         ugh
CEO’s office or the marketin departmen for which there is no public disclosure
                 t          ng         nt,        h
requiirement.” 6

Staff Compens
    f       sation

                or
Those working fo the Macki              a          mpensated. T chart bel lists the 2005
                            inac Center are well com            The         low
    2           ompensation for officers and highest paid five em
and 2006 total co                                  t                       ncluding benefits
                                                                mployees, in
    ribution and expense acc
contr                      counts:

                                                                                  20005        20006
    Lawr
       rence Reed                 P
                                  President                                         452
                                                                               $168,4             06
                                                                                            $148,20
       eph
    Jose Lehman                   E
                                  Executive VPP                                     559
                                                                               $116,5             94
                                                                                            $129,59
       dra
    Kend Shrode                   A            V
                                  Assistant to VP                                            $65,25
                                                                                                  51
       mas
    Thom W. Wash  hburne          D
                                  Director                                                        85
                                                                                            $125,38
       mas
    Thom A. Schulll               Senior Editor (formerly De troit
                                  S                                                 959
                                                                               $100,9             85
                                                                                            $100,38
                                  N            al
                                  News Editoria Board)
        ick
    Patri J. Wright               S
                                  Sr. Analyst                                                     85
                                                                                            $100,38
       ne
    Dian S. Katz                  D
                                  Director scien
                                               nce, environm
                                                           ment and                 316
                                                                               $101,3             43
                                                                                             $99,94
                                  t            ormerly Detro News
                                  technology (fo           oit
                                  E            rd)
                                  Editorial Boar
       sell
    Russ Harding                  S
                                  Senior Enviroonmental Policcy                     851
                                                                                $94,8        $99,88
                                                                                                  84
                                  A
                                  Analyst (former Engler DE EQ
                                  D
                                  Director)
       n
    John E. Coonradtt             V
                                  VP Advancem  ment (fundraissing)                  380
                                                                               $104,3        $12,53
                                                                                                  34
        stopher Bachelder
    Chris                         D
                                  Director Advaancement                             059
                                                                                $87,0
                                  (
                                  (fundraising)
       phen Frick
    Step                          M
                                  Manager of In nformation Syystems                 059
                                                                                $72,0

        ce:          nter
    Sourc Mackinac Cen IRS 990, 2005, 06




6
     tegic Grantmak
 Strat              king, Foundatiions and the Sc
                                                chool Privatiza
                                                              ation Movemen The Nationa Committee f
                                                                          nt,         al          for
Respo              hropy, 2007, p. 18
     onsive Philanth

    R
MEA Research                                    Page 6                                             mel
                                                                                          Greg Steim
    C           nger reports the income of its directo It’s lates report to t federal
The Center no lon                                    ors.       st          the
    rnment inclu
gover                       ree:
                uded only thr

                                                                    20099
Josep Lehman
     ph                             President                    $155,906
                                                                        6
Lawreence Reed                      President Emeritus
                                              E                   $40,776
                                                                        6
     n
Justin Marshall                     VP Fundraising                $37,395
                                                                        5

     e:            ter          9
Source Mackinac Cent IRS 990 2009




   grams
Prog

The Mackinac Ce
     M                                    i          ys,        y           ng
                 enter serves its mission in many way primarily by spreadin its free-m  market
                 any         s            his                   ntly        ed
message in as ma forms as possible. Th message is consisten expresse through it          ts
    ications that serve both th business interests of i corporate sponsors as well as the
publi                         he                      its       e           s           e
                 als
philosophical goa of its con             oundation ba
                             nservative fo           ackers.

                                              P          on
                                              Privatizatio

Priva             ng         e            C
     atization, lon one of the Mackinac Center’s favo            ,            o
                                                     orite causes, continues to be its
                  e           oject funded by the Corn
central issue. The original pro           d          nerstone Fou             s
                                                                 undation was a 1987
     y             he         n          F            d
study entitled “Th Michigan Accident Fund: A Need for Privati    ization.” The
     wing year th Accident Fund, a state agency sell
follow            he          F           e                      s’
                                                     ling workers compensat   tion
coverrage to busin            ributed $5,00 to the Ma
                  nesses, contr           00                     ter.
                                                     ackinac Cent The Acc    cident
    d              zed                   G
Fund was privatiz in 1994. Dykema Gossett was a      awarded a $2250,000 conntract to
     e
guide sale.

    e                        ntion has shif to the pr
Since then, the Center’s atten            fted                               most
                                                     rivatization of the two m unioniz zed
                  overnment: state employ
sectors of state go           s                     blic                     s
                                         yees and pub schools. It publishes A School
    atization Prim which includes sam RFPs, l
Priva             mer,        i          mple                    ateer
                                                    lists of privat compan   nies, and
    atization cam
priva                        egies.
                 mpaign strate

     ggests that sc
It sug                         s           t
                  chool boards may want to “… work behind the s                  before they
                                                                     scenes long b
annou             ntentions to contract a pa
      unce their in            c           articular serv
                                                        vice.” It desc           uch
                                                                     cribes one su successfuful
camp paign:
                   ien
        In the Berri County Inte                 ool          ne
                                  ermediate Scho District, on official quiet tly
                   rmal RFP and received propo
        issued a for              r                           dors before the union
                                                osals from vend             e
                   ented the area’s school transportation emplo
        that represe              s                                         e
                                                              oyees knew the process
                                  s              b             y             s
        had begun. The result was that the ISD board held only two meetings packed
        with angry employees, the families and friends, inste of nine or 1
                                  eir            d            ead           10
        meetings, as has been the case elsewhere e.

                 he           as
Over the years, th Center ha actively ad  dvocated sch              rs
                                                       hool voucher and
the pr                         t          risons facilit and the
     rivatization of Amtrak, the state’s pr            ties
University of Mic                         t            ncrease that w
                  chigan. It responded to the tuition in            would


    R
MEA Research                                     Page 7                                         mel
                                                                                       Greg Steim
    atization wou cause: “T
priva           uld       Tuition hikes could actua help tho students w truly ne
                                        s            ally        ose        who         eed
                ing        ol
help — by enabli the schoo to offer gr              ght           nd
                                        reater outrig gift aid an tuition reductions to
stude from low
    ents        w-income fam                        ractice at priv universities” 7
                           milies, as is often the pr             vate

                                                abor Activi sm
                                               La

     M
The Mackinac Ce              as          s           on           es.     P.
                 enter also ha focused its attention o labor issue Robert P Hunter, a
    gan
Reag NLRB ap     ppointee, ser
                             rved as the Center’s Sen Fellow in Labor Poli until 200
                                         C           nior         n        icy         03.
    n            g            nac
Soon after joining the Mackin Center, Governor En                nted       to
                                                      ngler appoin Hunter t the Michi  igan
Civil Service Com            A           r            n          ff         nd
                 mmission. Also a former Republican Senate staf member an Washing     gton,
D.C. lawyer, Hun now is regional director of the F
                 nter        r                                   or                    nd
                                                     Federal Labo Relations Authority an an
    nct          t           nac
adjun scholar at the Mackin Center.

     e            8,
In the fall of 1998 Hunter, re
                             epresenting himself as th agent of d
                                         h           he                       employees, s
                                                                 dissatisfied e          signed
     s            d          on
and submitted a decertificatio petition fo the Branc County IS Head Sta staffers. T
                                         or          ch          SD           art        The
    A
MEA response su              t
                  ummarized the gains the local had m
                                        e           made since vo             tify        n
                                                                  oting to cert the union in
                  ed
1994 and provide the emplo                           shed in 1993 by the Mac
                             oyees with a study publis           3                       er
                                                                              ckinac Cente that
recom             e          H          p
     mmended the end of all Head Start programs in M             In                      cation
                                                      Michigan. I the resulting decertific
     ion,        on                      ger
electi the unio prevailed 30-16, a larg margin t                 ginal vote to unionize.
                                                     than the orig

     C           bor
The Center’s Lab Policy In                  fesses to “off advice an
                               nitiative prof           ffer        nd
     tance to poli makers, school board members, s
assist            icy          s            d            school adminnistrators
and inndividual tea            ey           rk
                   achers as the try to wor within a s              bor
                                                        system of lab
mana agement desi              dustry in the mid-1930’s The Cent
                   igned for ind                         s.”       nter
publiishes A Colleective Barga              er,
                               aining Prime which inf               rs
                                                        forms reader that:

                    n             y               b              of            nd-file
          Unions do not necessarily represent the best interests o their rank-an
                   n                              he             heir
          members, nor do they act according to th wishes of th members.

          While union may, at som level, care ab
                     ns         me             bout the educa                en,
                                                              ation of childre board
          members sh              hemselves that the union repr
                    hould remind th            t                             ngaged in nego
                                                               resentatives en                               d
                                                                                             otiating are paid
                    als          d             der
          professiona … the board should consid hiring a pro  ofessional nego                 ces
                                                                              otiator if financ permit.

          …collective bargaining se
                      e                            ch
                                     eldom has muc to do with qu               on.
                                                                 uality educatio That may hhave been the case in
                      d              ive           ,             as            o           hat            he
          the earlier days of collecti bargaining, but today it ha evolved into primarily wh is best for th
                      o                            e
          union and to a slightly lesser degree, the employee.

                    ve              s           d              al             and         he           f
           …collectiv bargaining is poorly suited for educationa institutions a works to th detriment of
                     d
          students and teachers alike.

    C           lso        c
The Center has al made a continual pur
                                     rsuit of initia
                                                   atives to lim union poli
                                                               mit                    ing
                                                                          itical spendi
     o          ndatory unio membersh policies.
and to attack man          on        hip




7
        atize the Unive
    Priva                            gan,     nt            sues, March 1, 2004
                      ersity of Michig Viewpoin on Public Iss

    R
MEA Research                                        Page 8                                                  mel
                                                                                                   Greg Steim
                                               er       tions
                                            Othe Publicat

Much of the Mac
     h                      er’s      i             public relati
                 ckinac Cente success is due to its p                        Its
                                                                ions savvy. I president
                 nce        d,
emeritus, Lawren W. Reed a former co  ollege econo omics profes               ne
                                                                ssor, has alon authored or
contr            ore                                d
     ributed to mo than 800 newspaper columns and articles in the last 10 y              ubject
                                                                             years. The su
     arly         a
is nea always anti-union:

                     ome
          To regain so of its econ                M            ds            fferent industrie such as alte
                                    nomic health, Michigan need to attract diff              es,          ernative
                                    re                          work proponen say the stron union prese
          fuel production, health car and tourism. But right-to-w            nts              ng          ence
                     i                            on           d
          keeps new industry away. A weaker unio base would help attract m                   s,
                                                                            more businesses they argue.

          “We’ve got to do somethi bold, somet
                      t              ing            thing dramatic says Lawren Reed, president of the Mackinac
                                                                 c,”           nce
                      P                                          Michigan that p
          Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank in M                            ness       “This
                                                                               promotes busin interests. “
          is the one best thing that can break the perception arou the country that Michigan doesn’t have a
                                     c             p             und          y               n
          friendly wo environmen Nothing would do that bet than a right
                     ork             nt.                         tter                         ative.” 8
                                                                               t-to-work initia

   e            n             union target is the MEA In fact, “M
More often than not, its anti-u                     A.                     ucation
                                                                Michigan Edu
                “            ears         mes
Association” or “MEA” appe 3,850 tim on the M                   rg
                                                     Mackinac.or site.

     M        E           R
The Michigan Education Report, which downplays its Mackin Center ro
                                        h             s         nac        oots, is reporrtedly
    ed         p                        t             hough the C
maile to every public school teacher in the state, alth                     s
                                                                Center admits it has only
    00
10,00 “subscript            s.”        ely                       cal        s
                tion requests It routine includes stories critic of unions in general a  and
    M
the MEA in particular.

    ough it is wr
Altho                                                 ther Mackina Center pu
                ritten with a less slanted tone than ot          ac                        its
                                                                              ublications, i
    ce                        es          er’s        es.
choic of subject matter serve the Cente objective Recent ar                   ded:
                                                                 rticles includ

    ntal      tion higher in private sch
Paren satisfact            n           hools

How tax credits and vouchers work
    t           a          s

Privatization num          ain
                mbers up aga

The myth of the highly qualified teacher
    m           h

                urting Michig Teachers and
Labor contract Hu           gan      s
Schools




The Michigan Privatization Report is published qu
     M                        n              p                                  he           h
                                                         uarterly and promotes th cause with little
cover            atization failures. It is “d
     rage of priva                                       o            ors
                                            distributed to state senato and repre            and
                                                                                 esentatives a
      y          artment direc
policy staff; depa            ctors and sta municipa officials an administr
                                            aff;         al           nd                     ol
                                                                                 rators; schoo
superrintendents and school board membe 9”
                 a                          ers.


8
        ons                                    g            Today, July 25 2007
    Unio try to hang on as open-shop laws gain ground , USA T            5,
9
         //www.mackin
    http:/                       mpr/
                    nac.org/pubs/m

    R
MEA Research                                       Page 9                                                 mel
                                                                                                 Greg Steim
     e           i           uthor writes: “Further pro that the t
In the July 2007 issue, the au                        oof                    ons
                                                                  teacher unio in Michiggan
     nd          eys
— an their lacke in the Le                            concern for anyone but t
                             egislature — have little c                                 ers
                                                                              their membe
     es        m                          b           .
come to us from legislation introduced by state Sen. Michael Pr  rusi.”

     a           o           He
The article goes on to say: “H wants [pr                            l
                                         rivatization] to be illegal and
     ntroduced a bill to repea the law tha gives distr
has in                       al          at           ricts the freedom
     nd          rice        le
to fin the best pr availabl for nonins                upport servic
                                         structional su             ces.”

    b                                   ns        n            on;
The bill actually would have allow union to bargain privatizatio it
would not have made privatiz
                 m          zation illega 10
                                        al.

    a            c           lks        b          itical advoca
The article then carefully wal the line between poli           acy
     obbying:
and lo

                    ooking at ways to reform the system to mak it more effic
        Instead of lo              s                           ke                          re
                                                                           cient and ensur that limited dollars
                                   oom, they’ve [the bill sponso decided it’s better to cont
        actually go into the classro            [              ors]                        tinue supportin
                                                                                                         ng
        outdated an exorbitant pe
                   nd                           nefit systems.
                                   ension and ben

     en          D           ponsors of th bill and sa
It the lists the Democratic sp           he          ays:

                     ht                             mes.
        Voters ough to take note of these 10 nam In taking away from sch                         e             nage
                                                                                  hool boards the ability to man
        their district’s tax dollars as they best see fit, these legi
                                                                    islators would guarantee tax increases in
                    t
        perpetuity to pay the inord dinate costs tha would come from a ban on privatization.
                                                    at                            n

     C
The Center’s not-             tatus require that it not “attempt to influence pu
                 -for-profit st           es                                                 n
                                                                                 ublic opinion on a
     lative matter or referend
legisl           r           dum.” The Ce                            tical stands:
                                           enter is free to take polit

                   ani                           m             e,
        Rudy Giulia was by all accounts, from friend and foe an extraordin               He             fix
                                                                             nary mayor. H set about to f a
                  functional city and succeeded by pursuing w
        nearly dysfu              a                                          d            t
                                                              what made good management sense. Privatiz zation
                   c               h              hat
        was a core component of his strategy. Th doesn’t nec   cessarily mean that he’d mak a good president,
                                                                            n             ke
        but saving a major city is a qualification most candidat can only en
                                                 n             tes          nvy. 11

     rivatization Re
The Pr                            p             arly
                   eport was last published in ea 2009.

                                  H        ol       Workshop
                                  High Schoo Debate W      ps

     M
The Mackinac Ce                          ol         am
                enter offers a high schoo debate tea seminar p             order to sprea its
                                                                program,in o            ad
     m
free market message to the yo            eners possibl It does th in associa
                             oungest liste           le.        his        ation with Seeattle-
     d                     ms
based E Pluribus Unum Film and its Eco   onomic Thin nking progra Economic Thinking runs
                                                                am.
     te         ,           d
debat programs, including debate prepar  ration works           nd         ry.
                                                     shops, aroun the countr Its missio on
     ment       t           ds
statem states that it intend “… to insp students to explore t dynamic of a marke
                                         pire        s           the       cs           et
econo          h
     omy through understand               ral
                            ding the centr role of ecconomic free          erty
                                                                 edom, prope rights, and the


10
      4            age
  SB 424 (2007), pa 3
11
     vatization Bear Fruit in the Big Apple, A Book Review b Lawrence W Reed, Michi
  Priv             rs             B            B           by         W.                         ion
                                                                                  igan Privatizati
     rt,
Repor July 2007

    R
MEA Research                                       Page 10                                                  mel
                                                                                                   Greg Steim
     o         t            s
rule of law…” It goes on to say: “The co of Econo
                                       ore                   ng         ping connect
                                                  omic Thinkin is develop          tions
     een       rket         a
betwe free mar groups and high sch                me         udents…”
                                       hool and hom school stu

                                                                                        Pluribus Unu
                                                                                   An E P           um
                                                                                         program
                                                                                   Films p
                                                                                   Educat           rica: A
                                                                                         tion in Amer
                                                                                   Public Right Gone
                                                                                        g           nuary
                                                                                   Wrong aired in Jan
                                                                                         In
                                                                                   2000. I 2006, E
       www.economict
http://w                          out/in 1
                   thinking.org/abo


     bus        ed          0,                     ts                    ts
Plurib forwarde $349,200 about half of the grant that made up 99% of it revenues t that
year, to Washington, D.C.-ba             ld        ons.
                             ased Manifol Productio Two of M             past
                                                              Manifold’s p producttions
               ood
include: Hollywo vs. Relig               b          Medved; and Campus C
                            gion, hosted by Michael M         d                   s:
                                                                       Culture Wars Five
     es
Storie about Pol            ectness.
                litical Corre

Mani             cted
    ifold is direc by conse    ervative Reppublican Mic             who        d
                                                        chael Pack, w resigned from the
                 P
Corporation for Public Broad               F            06,         n                     of
                              dcasting in February 200 the last in a series of departures o
    ervatives off
conse                          i
                 ficials hired in an effort by to bring w
                                            b           what was vie          re
                                                                    ewed as mor balance too
    ic
publi television..


   earch
Rese

                   r             P           on,         .
         In 2001, researchers Peter Cookso Jr. Ph.D. and Katie E                  D.
                                                                     Embree Ph.D of Columb     bia
                    y,                                  na
         University and Alex Molnar, Ph.D. of Arizon State Uni                    iewed the
                                                                     iversity, revi
                   c
         Mackinac Center’s re               ducation issu Funded by the Grea Lakes Cen
                                esearch on ed           ues.                      at         nter,
                   i            ed
         which is in turn funde by the Na   ational Educaation Associ              s
                                                                     iation and its 6 Midwest t
         affiliates,12 the author found that in only one case did the Center’s re
                                 rs         t           e            e                         h
                                                                                  esearch reach a
         quality su                         d           ation in a pee
                   ufficient to be considered for publica            er-reviewed academic
         journal.13 The authors found:
                                 s

         “Mackina Center res
                  ac                       en        uality and because of this it should be
                              search is ofte of low qu                        s
                   ith        able         ism
         treated wi considera skeptici by the pu                  y           d           eaders.
                                                      ublic, policy makers and political le
                 m            w            M
         Indeed, much of the work of the Mackinac Ce              ave
                                                      enter may ha caused m  more confusi  ion
                   ty         blic         on         ues         as
         than clarit in the pub discussio of the issu that it ha addressed byd
         systematically ignorin evidence that does no agree with its proposed solutions.”
                              ng                     ot           h                        ”




12
                    enter.org/About
  http://greatlakesce              t_Us.php
13
  Let The Buyer Bew              n,              E
                    ware, Cookson Molnar and Embree, An An                                 e
                                                               nalysis Of The Social Science Value And
Methoodological Qua               tional Studies Published by T Mackinac C
                    ality Of Educat              P            The                                        90-
                                                                             Center for Public Policy (199
      ,             001,
2001), September 20 p.2

    R
MEA Research                                     Page 11                                                mel
                                                                                               Greg Steim
                 y                        r          nd          cial
         The study went on to say: “Center reports ten to use soc science language wit    thout
                  cial
         proper soc science methods in a way that g              pearance of s
                                                     gives the app                        ific
                                                                             social scienti
                  y          nter’s preconceived belie and ideas.”14
         legitimacy to the Cen                       efs

   ansion
Expa

    S
The State Policy Network, to                          ac
                            ogether with the Mackina Center, se               rdinate resou
                                                                  erves to coor           urces
    ng
amon member th              a
                 hink tanks as well as to recruit and t
                                          r                       nservative, f market t
                                                      train new con           free        think
    s.
tanks

These organizatio whose boards are co
     e             ons,       b            omposed of b             n
                                                        businessmen and women rather than  n
schol                                      nks” in order to create a perception o detachme As
     lars, refer to themselves as “think tan            r                       of         ent.
     ult,
a resu they are taken more seriously in legislative a               n
                                                       arenas and in the media t           ate
                                                                                than corpora
     dents and their lobbyists As the Atla
presid                        s.                        ly         nted        he
                                           antic Monthl once poin out: “Th beauty of it all
was that thinkers come cheap than lobb
     t                        per          byists.”15




    o           rs          nac       h                         ink         ool,
For over ten year the Mackin Center hosted a conservative thi tank scho attended by    d
    ervatives fro other stat interested in establish
conse           om         tes        d                        anks of their own by usin the
                                                   hing think ta                       ng

14
     d.
  ibid p. 29
15
     as             ns,
  Idea Move Nation How conser                   anks have help ed to transform the terms of p
                                 rvative think ta                            m                            te,
                                                                                            political debat
     rbrook, Atlantic Monthly, Jan
Easter              c            nuary 1986, p. 69

    R
MEA Research                                      Page 12                                                 mel
                                                                                                 Greg Steim
Mack             r’s         ons,
    kinac Center publicatio speeche and other r
                                         es                        t           s           tive
                                                       resources. It operated as a conservat
    k           hise          n,
think tank franch operation with cente located in most states and 37 cou
                                          ers          n            s                      e
                                                                               unties. Some of
                 izations are staffed by a single perso The vario members of the State
these state organi            s                       on.          ous         s           e
                 r           are           bel
Policy Network routinely sha and re-lab publicati                 hes          s
                                                       ions, speech and press releases.

The Bluegrass In
     B                         ted
                 nstitute, locat in Bowli Green, K
                                         ing                     as
                                                    Kentucky, wa founded f              go
                                                                            four years ag by
Chris            erry                    e
     stopher J. De after he attended the Mackinac C             k            l.
                                                     Center think tank school It was oncce
     red
referr to as a “c              e
                  conservative propaganda mill” by th state’s larg newspa
                                         a          he           gest                   s
                                                                           aper. “This is like
     nchise,” Derry said. “I sa that I cou recreate w the oth state grou are doing 16
a fran                         aw        uld         what       her         ups          g.”

The Bluegrass In
      B           nstitute has si
                                ince grown to employ fo people, b lists 43 a
                                           t          our       but                     s
                                                                           authors on its web
      i                        nter       nt                    ny         rs
site, including Mackinac Cen Presiden Lawrence Reed, a litan of staffer from other      r
conse             nk           w                       ter
      ervative thin tanks as well as ABC News report Jon Stoss  sel.




     M
The Mackinac Ceenter has dev           ertise in the art of fundra
                            veloped expe                                                te
                                                                 aising. Through the Stat
                           h
Policy Network, the Center has made ava             de
                                       ailable a guid to fundra aising which suggests a
     ble       h           h.
flexib approach to the truth As well as requesting ffunding from conservative foundatio it
                                                                m                       ons,


16
  Righ             G                         spel       Government,” T New York Times, Novem
      ht-of-Center Guru Goes Wide With the Gos of Small G            The      k            mber
     006
17, 20

    R
MEA Research                               Page 13                                          mel
                                                                                   Greg Steim
    mmends don
recom                    ream founda
             nning mainstr                     nd         nship program using a
                                   ations to fun an “intern           m”
    ely       p         at         y           f           s
vague worded proposal tha avoids any mention of the Center’s philosophical mission:

                   nds
         Raising fun from individuals and orga   anizations that are philosophi                 o
                                                                                ically neutral to not philosophhically-
                    h             n             W               on,             ram
         aligned with your mission is possible. Without questio how a progr or project is described is        s
                    a             oals, yardsticks and results. Th following g
         important, as is having go                              he                            or
                                                                               grant request fo an internship p
         program ex                ts             am
                   xtols the benefit of the progra for the inte                                 on,
                                                                erns, as well as the organizatio in non-
                   cal
         philosophic language. (S                ip
                                  SPN Leadershi Training Ser     ries, How to St and Grow a Think Tank,
                                                                                tart
         www.spn.org)

     S                                     t           hat
The State Policy Network goes further: it suggests th when requ                ding from
                                                                   questing fund
corpo            e            nt
     orations, one should poin out the connection bet   tween corpo            ons
                                                                   orate donatio and the
markketplace finan             t
                  ncial return they can exp
                                          pect: “It’s up to you to d
                                                       p           demonstrate t you’re n
                                                                                that        not
                               ith         as,
just a worthy organization wi good idea but an eff                  ner        vers
                                                       ffective partn that deliv bottom-    -line
     e            rm                                    ts
value for long-ter benefit.” The article also suggest that one gu              t
                                                                    uard against leaving the
impre                         e                         ue          an
     ession that “a supportive report on a donor’s issu must mea your opin     nion has beenn
‘bougght’.” It blam a “cynic press” fo spreading this view.17
                  mes          cal        or

  mmary
Sum

     M
The Mackinac Ce                 es          n                           tive
                   enter receive attention not because of its object scholarship but beca       ause it
    wers            ia
show the medi and gover                    ficials at all l
                                rnmental offi             levels with p publications designed to
    mote
prom a conser                   da.
                   rvative agend It is undo oubtedly a v                 e          r
                                                         very effective conduit for the policy
     es
wishe of its spon                           t
                   nsors. It has shown great resourceful   lness in crea            ays         d
                                                                        ating new wa to spread its
                   en           ce
message. Betwee its presenc in the Mic      chigan Legis                many publica
                                                           slature, its m           ations, news
      ses,                                 m              to            ing         age
releas its web site and conferences it might seem t be spreadi its messa in every way
possi              ontinues to find new outl
     ible, but it co           f            lets:

                  y
         It recently sponsored a contest to reward a stu              that
                                                         udent essay t best “ex              entific
                                                                                 xposes a scie
                                vie,
         fallacy in a book, mov song or other pop cu                um.” It later awarded firs
                                                         ulture mediu                         st
         place to an entrant wh establishe that the D
                  a             ho           ed                     ated
                                                        Disney anima movie "Little Merm     maid"
         lacked sciientific basis 18
                                s.
        A new pro ogram “Stud                ree      my”           t
                                dents for a Fr Econom will visit Michigan c      colleges and
                                             t                                    ar
         universities “taking policy ideas to students … who may be unfamilia with the w     ways
                                                                           19
                  kets          eir         d            hey
         that mark affect the lives and the issues th care abo      out.”
                 dom in Fictio Prize com
         It’s Freed             on          mpetition offe $10,000 to the new b
                                                        fers                     book author who
         creates:

                  rs           trate an apprec
         …character that demonst                               rty,       ts           icitly or symbo
                                              ciation for liber free market and/or expli             olically
                  vernment oppre
         oppose gov                                           reedom…
                               ession or restraints on their fr

         But the bo must not:
                  ook

17
      N           g
   SPN News, Spring 2002
18
                   nac.org/article.aspx?ID=8870
   http://www.mackin                          0
19
                   nac.org/article.aspx?ID=8959
   http://www.mackin                          9

    R
MEA Research                                        Page 14                                                   mel
                                                                                                     Greg Steim
                     t
          …advance themes or char                 omote governm
                                    racters who pro                             d              lify
                                                                ment-sponsored solutions; vil entrepreneu   urship;
                    rsonal initiative self-reliance and responsib
          degrade per               e,            e                             gitate discredite myths and
                                                                bility, or regurg               ed
          misconceptions about libe and free en
                                    erty          nterprise…20

    nks
Than to its longg-standing policy of not disclosing i corporate backers, the public may
                           p                        its                    e          y
     r          t          ons         d           g
never know what organizatio have had such a long term effect on the form              blic
                                                                          mation of pub
     y          an.
policy in Michiga




20
       w.mackinac.or
     www                         ction
                   rg/freedominfic

    R
MEA Research                                       Page 15                                                 mel
                                                                                                  Greg Steim

				
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