Michigan, Right to Work, and the Kochs

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 11 2012 11:54 AM

Michigan, Right to Work, and the Kochs

The Detroit Free Press has been writing daily editorials to condemn the likely passage of right-to-work in a lame duck session. Today -- following the same schedule as newspapers in Wisconsin during that state's union fight -- it blames ALEC and the Kochs for stoking this so quickly.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Certainly, there are a large number of Michigan legislators who are beholden to Americans for Prosperity, or the Koch brothers. Word is the groups threatened Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville's leadership post, and promised him a primary challenge in 2014, if he refused to move right-to-work forward.
Advertisement

AFP spokesman Levi Russell calls this an "absolute lie," one that doesn't take into account the ordinary politics of the situation. "AFP hasn’t promised to primary Richardville or anyone else," he says. "Frankly, the concept of more freedom in the workplace and keeping more of your paycheck sells itself. It’s the unions that have been tossing out threats and using scare tactics trying to maintain control over the very workers who pay their exorbitant salaries."

Publicly, AFP in Michigan had spent November pressuring the Assembly Republicans* to decide against a state health care exchange, which he did. The speed of this has more to do with Republican losses in the November election. If, in the new session, the new Democrats joined with the Republicans who'd previously opposed right to work, the bill would fail.

UPDATE: And here, via Lee Stranahan, is video of union protesters shouting at AFP's faction outside the Capitol, demanding that they strike their tent.

*I originally wrote "Gov. Snyder" instead - pure accident.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 6:24 PM The GOP Can’t Quit “Willie Horton” Even though they promise to do so, again and again.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 6:48 PM Apple: Still Enormously Profitable
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 6:32 PM Taylor Swift’s Pro-Gay “Welcome to New York” Takes Her Further Than Ever From Nashville 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.