News from Progress Michigan

August 30, 2017

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Mackinac Center Part of National ‘Mortal Blow’ Strategy to Break Unions
The MacCen isn’t about freedom; they’re about building power for corporate donors

MICHIGAN — Not mincing words, the president of the State Policy Network, of which the Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a member organization, told potential funders the goal of the Mackinac Center and other SPN affiliates is to “deliver the mortal blow” to unions in the state and around the country.

In the letter written by SPN President and CEO Tracie Sharp obtained by The Guardian, it’s clear the entire goal of the Mackinac Center and SPN is to serve as front groups to break up unions, and to push right-wing policies and elected officials into power.

“Hopefully this report will give some clarity to citizens and the press in Michigan about what the Mackinac Center is really about. They are part of a national, anti-union front group designed to build power for the right-wing in this country,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “They claim to stand for ‘freedom,’ but they’re no better than the strikebreakers and union busters of generations past. They represent wealthy corporate interests like the DeVos family who don’t want working people banding together and gaining power. Now we have proof of that in their own words.”

Here are a few examples from Sharp’s 10-page letter, which can be found here:

“…we are also primed, right now, to deliver the mortal blow to permanently break its stranglehold on our society. I’m talking about government employee unions.”

“I write today to share with you our bold plans to permanently break the power of government unions this year.”

“We defund and defang one of our freedom movement’s most powerful opponents, the government unions…”

In the letter, Sharp gives context to Michigan’s Right to Work fight in 2012, saying the campaign “has resulted in $8 million annually being drained from the teacher union coffers.” Clearly, the Mackinac Center and SPN’s main goal was to try to weaken teachers’ unions, contrary to their bogus “freedom” claims.

“The Mackinac Center likes to pretend they’re about advancing liberty and choices for people in Michigan,” Scott continued. “But they’ve been on the front lines of breaking unions, pushing disastrous emergency manager policies, and forcing ineffective charter school experiments on our kids for years. They’ve made life harder for working people so their wealthy bosses can live just a bit more comfortably. We’ve known they are a corporate front group for years, but now there is no denying it with a document saying so in their own words.”


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