Media Resoundingly Rejects Prop 2, Prop 4

Only two weekly newspapers support either of the union-backed plans to alter the state constitution

As Election Day looms, Proposal 2 and Proposal 4 are without any serious support from the state's news outlets.

No daily newspaper in the state has endorsed Proposal 2, which would allow union contracts to overrule laws made by the legislature, and only two weekly newspapers have endorsed it. 

Proposal 4, which would lock the forced unionization of home-based caregivers in the state constitution and allow the Service Employees International Union to continue to take at least $6 million a year from the elderly and disabled, has not received endorsements from any newspaper in Michigan.

Nick De Leeuw, spokesman for Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, a group opposed to proposals that would amend the state constitution, said he’s been tracking newspaper endorsements through Nov. 2 and confirms the lack of support.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle, the Herald-Palladium, The Grand Rapids Press, Kalamazoo Gazette, Flint Journal, Bay City Times, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Detroit Free Press, Adrian Daily Telegram, Huron Daily Tribune, Petoskey News, Midland Daily News, Holland Sentinel, Detroit News, Sturgis Journal, Livingston Daily County Press & Argus, Lansing State Journal, Soo Evening News, Battle Creek Enquirer, Greenville Daily News, Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, Southgate News Herald, Southgate Press and Guide, The Ile Camera, The Guardian, Ann Arbor Journal, Milan News-Leader and Saline Reporter, Chelsea Standard and Dexter Leader, Manchester Enterprise, Ypsilanti Courier, Saline View, Ionia Sentinel-Standard and Crain’s Detroit Business have all come out against Proposal 2.

De Leeuw said the Lansing City Pulse and the Michigan Chronicle were the only weeklies to support Prop 2.

Dan Lijana, spokesman for "Protect Working Families" campaign, which previously was "Protect Our Jobs," didn’t respond to a request for comment about endorsements.

Media outlets across the state have universally urged readers to vote "no" on Proposal 4. The SEIU has taken more than $32 million from the Medicaid checks of the elderly and disabled in Michigan since 2005 when it orchestrated the unionization scheme when Jennifer Granholm was governor. The SEIU needs the amendment to pass to continue the scheme, which will otherwise end when the current contract ends in February 2013.

MLive Media Group, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News were all especially critical of Proposal 4. MLive called it "a crass grab for union membership" and the Freep said it was "easy to dismiss." The Detroit News said it was a "self-serving measure that enriches only the SEIU."

Even some disability advocates are against the proposal.

Jan Lampman, executive director of The Arc of Midland, wrote a letter-to-the-editor on Nov. 4 in the Midland Daily News saying that her local affiliate does not support Prop 4.

David Thompson, who serves on the board of directors of the Arc Michigan, wrote a letter Nov. 3 in the Midland Daily News saying, “I see not benefit for the patient and only additional burden placed upon the taxpayer. … Again taxpayers will (be) the losers on this proposal.”

The Arc Michigan's executive director, Dohn Hoyle, has aggressively lobbied for Proposal 4's passage. Hoyle also has been critical of people who are against the ballot measure, calling one local caregiver "an idiot" because he is against the forced unionization and against Proposal 4.

Hoyle, who also is spokesman for the Proposal 4 campaign, has not responded to requests for comment.

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See also:

Proposal 4: The Unionization of Home-Based Caregivers

Proposal 2: The 'Collective Bargaining' Amendment