In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Monday, July 20, 2009
MEA Memo Blasts Dillon
More bad blood between organized labor and the democratic Speaker of the Michigan House. In a confidential memo, the executive director of the Michigan Education Association, Lu Battaglieri, blasts Speaker Andy Dillon for his proposal to create a state operated health insurance system for the state's nearly half a million public employees and retirees. After twelve years of battling anti-labor Gov. John Engler, Battaglieri calls the Dillon plan the most "anti-labor, anti-uinon and anti-collective bargaining" proposal yet. Dillon told the union in a meeting last week that he was offering the plan to make sure the democrats did not lose the house, senate and governor's seat next year. The union offic ial countered, "That's exactly what will happen. He is seemingly clueless as to the damage he is causing the Democratic Party." The memo goes on to describe Dillon as: "Nice house-nobody home. And that is not meant to be pejorative. I believe it is true." Recall that the MEA and its insurance arm, MESSA, took a hit in the 2007 budget crisis and the memo warns, this will not happened again. The MEA "is not going to be scarified on the alter of the budget yet again," the memo warns. In conclusion the union adds, "It is not hyperbole to say we are at war on this issue."