I caught up with Paul Kersey, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Director of Labor Policy, as he stood with a small handful of Tea Party folks huddled in the cold outside Michigan’s Capitol in Lansing. No more than a couple dozen Tea Party folks ever appeared. Meanwhile, hundreds of AFL-CIO members were rallying a block away at the Methodist Church at the time.
I challenged Mr. Kersey first with a question about whether the Mackinac Center endorsed union busting. Then I asked about the Center’s overall policies toward unions.
It is worth noting that the Mackinac Center was literally and figuratively standing with the Tea Party folks. For all their talk about ideas bubbling up from the grass roots, the Tea Party appears to be relying on the Mackinac Center to do their thinking for them. And as this PDF of their IRS Form 990 shows, the center showed almost $3.5 million in income last year. An organization that can afford to give its CEO a $120,000 bonus that year seems like the wrong place to be opining about how our unionized workers need to get by with less.
And can someone remind me why the Mackinac Center qualifies as a 501(c)3 and not as a lobbying group? It sure looked to me like their paid staffer was telling the Tea Party what to tell legislators.