December 11, 2012- A narrative gaining currency among Rick Snyder's defenders explains his flip-flop on right-to-work legislation as a reluctant response to labor unions who put Proposal 2 on the November ballot over the governor's objections, then refused to bargain with good faith with him afterward.
But the truth? Snyder hasn't gotten much respect from the groups backing right-to-work, either.
Americans For Prosperity, founded by billionaire tea party titans David and Charles Koch, is heralding Michigan's imminent passage of right-to-work legislation laws in Michigan as "the shot heard around the world" in the fight to weaken unions.
But the group was also a significant financial backer of Proposal 5, an effort to amend the Michigan Constitution to bar tax increases without a two-thirds legislative supermajority.
So why would Snyder turn from labor unions to a group that was behind a constitutional amendment he described as "bad public policy"?
READ THE RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS:
The answer may lie in another Koch-funded group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which promotes a radical right-wing agenda in states across the country, supplying "model legislation" to sympathetic lawmakers.
The organization boasts more than 2,000 legislative members. It also has corporate members, who weigh in on the model legislation before it's approved by the group's public-sector committee, the group's national chairman said in an interview he gave after dozens of pieces of ALEC-written model legislation were leaked last year in a joint project by The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy.
Michigan's proposed right-to-work bills mirror the ALEC language practically word-for-word.