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Aug
2015
19

MIsinformation: Corporate Front Group Lying to Prevailing Wage Repeal Petition Signers

PROTECT-MICHIGAN-TAXPAYERS prevailing wage2

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A corporate front group called Protecting Michigan Taxpayers is collecting signatures for a petition that will put a referendum on the 2016 ballot calling for a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law.  If they are successful, the legislature will be allowed to vote on the matter without interference from Governor Rick Snyder, who has vowed to veto any repeal.  In May, the House passed a version of the repeal bill, despite some members of the GOP opposing it.  A poll taken in June found that nearly two-thirds of likely Michigan voters support the prevailing wage.  

As repeal referendum efforts ramp up, the always-on-point Eclectablog is reporting that Protecting Michigan Taxpayers have not only been getting major donations from anti-union forces, they have hired a company to collect signatures for them. What’s worse, signature collectors have been openly lying about what the petition is for when asked. 

First, the money:

Over the past few months, PMT has raised over a million dollars, largely from three sources. They got $360,000 from the Michigan Freedom Fund, an anti-union group funded largely by the DeVos family. They also got nearly $263,115 from the Construction Legal Rights Foundation, which is part of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., the VERY anti-union trade group for the national construction industry. ABC itself ponied up another $326,884, and McKinley Associates kicked in another $55,000.

As for the signatures, Protecting Michigan Taxpayers brought in Silver Bullet LLC — a Las Vegas company — to (unscrupulously) collect them:

Yesterday, Barb Shelton, the former Chair of the Jackson County Democratic Party contacted me about something she had witnessed. “I had two people knocking doors in my low-income, high-minority population neighborhood in Jackson,” she said. “They were passing the petitions off as ‘being for safer schools’. They also told my neighbor she could ‘qualify to win a cell phone’. I asked for their boss…of course they left.”

Getting the facts out about the damage repeal would do is tough enough with anti-worker lobbies raising upwards of one million dollars for TV ads. Add to this the legalization of petition falsehoods, and you’re really putting the MI in misinformation:

“Sadly, Michigan courts have ruled that petitioners can say pretty much anything they want because people signing them can read the language on the petition itself,” Eclectablog writes. “Of course, most don’t read the microprint on the petition.”

Read more about the Michigan prevailing wage fight in our archives.

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