Progress Michigan released a report today that revealed what many Michiganders already know — that the Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a front group for right-wing extremists.

The Mackinac Center has always been a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and now there’s proof. The report HERE details how the Mackinac Center claims to be an independent, non-partisan think tank, however they are members of the State Policy Network, a national Koch-funded, ALEC-allied network of organizations. State Policy Network member groups advocate for a national agenda driven by out-of-state corporate actors.


The bottom line? They’re trying to roll back the clock on progress to fatten corporate profits. This includes policies related to the economy, environmental protections, education, workers’ rights and access to health care. These measures are consistently harmful to working families.

Bought and paid for by corporations, for corporations.

Not only is the Mackinac Center working behind the scenes to sway public policy, they’re openly violating their 510c(3) nonprofit status by making donations to the Michigan Republican Party and the Livingston County Republican Committee.  This clearly violates the rules for a 501c(3).

The laundry list of questionable activities for the Mackinac Center include:

-Mackinac and ALEC’s shared corporate agenda: Mackinac staffers have proposed numerous bills at ALEC task force meetings, where elected officials and private sector members vote behind closed doors on templates to change the law. Their corporate agenda includes: attacking workers rights like repealing prevailing wage or implementing Right to Work laws, defunding and privatizing Michigan’s public schools with voucher programs and charter schools, and denying the science behind climate change and global warming.

-Lobbying organization: The Mackinac Center runs an extensive lobbying operation in order to promote its corporate-backed special interest agenda. The report outlines how Governor Rick Snyder has taken on several Mackinac agenda items including attacks on workers pensions, reducing corporate regulations and privatizing public services.

Mackinac’s Role in Restricting Workers’ Rights: The Mackinac Center spearheaded the anti-worker, so-called Right to Work legislation in Michigan. When Governor Snyder endorsed the measure in late 2012, the Mackinac Center soon took credit for its passage. Later, Dick DeVos — a longtime Mackinac supporter and one of the most notable corporate executives funding Michigan’s anti-worker campaigns — credited the Mackinac Center as one of the primary forces behind the push for Right to Work legislation.

Mackinac’s Slanted “News Service:” The Mackinac Center is also an affiliate of the Tea Party-linked Franklin Center, a consortium of conservative “news” outlets in over 40 states that are funded in part by the Koch brothers. Through the Michigan Capitol Confidential, the Mackinac Center pushes its right-wing agenda behind the mask of “journalism.”

The folks at the Mackinac Center don’t want you or other Michiganders to look behind the curtain, and see their intent when it comes to shaping the law.

We hope you think otherwise.

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