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Union Skims Off 3% of Medicaid Benefits as Political Slush Fund

There are approximately 27,000 personal care attendants (PCAs) in Minnesota. In almost all cases, PCAs are family members who are taking care of a disabled relative, usually a child or parent, in their homes. Happily, they are able to receive modest Medicaid payments to compensate them for this more than full-time work. Then, along came the union, looking for money: the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) got the PCAs declared "public employees" for the sole purpose of being subject to unionization. SEIU then carried out a unionization campaign in which, without the knowledge or participation of the large majority of PCAs,...

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Arrests Provide Teachable Moment on Teacher Union Politics

On Tuesday, hundreds of teachers attending the American Federation of Teachers convention in Minneapolis joined a Black Lives Matter march through the city’s downtown. They said they were protesting the recent police-involved killing of Philando Castile, a St. Paul Public Schools’ employee. Twenty-one teachers—including Minnesota union leaders—were arrested after blocking streets for three hours. Two quotes from news reports caught my eye. The first was from Denise Rodriguez, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. According to MPR, Rodriguez said the federation is committed to the Black Lives Matter movement, and Castile’s death is a tipping pint. ‘We can’t just go out and march and...

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Meet Kris Greene, Minnesota’s Quiet Mama Bear

I met Kris Greene several years ago. We were in federal court, listening to arguments in a case she and other parents brought in an attempt to stop Governor Dayton from inviting a union to speak for them, or even worse, interfering with how they care for their disabled family members. On the steps of the courthouse she quietly but firmly told me, “I don’t want a union getting between me and my daughter.” As a fellow mama bear, I immediately related to Kris Greene. Kris Greene’s daughter is a beautiful, disabled adult who will never live on her own. Taxpayers have generously...

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Brexit, Uncertainty and Pension Losses: there is a lot of that going around

You have to wonder what Brexit will be blamed for next. Even The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported on the front page, “Pensions Pressed Further by Brexit.” The front-page article reported, “For officials who manage retirements of public and private-sector workers, Brexit exacerbated problems that have been roiling pensions around the world for years. The low-rate environment has pulled down returns, inflated funding gaps, encouraged larger investment risks and prompted plan officials to scale back future investment assumptions.” Now “this problem is snowballing,” said Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton. The article explained, “Pensions determine their assets and liabilities through formulas that depend...

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Public Union Chief defends Gov. Dayton’s veto of Pension Bill; Calls Wall Street “Crockett’s Hungry Fox”

Eliot Seide, the executive director for public union AFSCME 5, went on the counter-offensive (or maybe just offensive) this weekend in response to my recent Strib commentary on pensions (“The perfect defeats the good as Dayton vetoes pension bill,” Kim Crockett June 13). You may or may not want to read Mr. Seide’s ad hominem attack on me and the Center, and his defense of the underfunded pension system (“Counterpoint: On public pensions, the sky isn’t falling,” June 17). Just don’t skip the Comments. Most writers seem to be delightfully well educated on the problem of pension math and role that...

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Kim Crockett Testimony on Employee Freedom before Gov’t Ops. Comm. (HF 3585)

Testimony and brief on Employee Freedom before Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee, House of Representatives on House File 3585  (specifically Article 2 on Fair Share and Dues Deduction) Written Statement from Kim Crockett VP, Senior Policy Fellow and General Counsel Center of the American Experiment Thank you, Mr. Chair I‘m Kim Crockett with Center of the American Experiment. The Center is here in support of Article 2 of House File 3585 . First, the Center supports the repeal of laws authorizing public sector unions to collect so-called “fair share” fees from anypublic employee, because mandatory agency fees force both political speech and association with...

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Kim Crocket Letter to Star Tribune Re: Unionizing Child-Care Providers

Letter to the Editor: The Star Tribune has done a great job covering the attempt by Gov. Dayton to help AFSCME unionize child-care providers (“Minnesota’s child-care providers say no to unionizing”, March 2, 2016). I am writing because an otherwise good article reporting on AFSCME’s decisive loss on March 1st, had an odd conclusion and quote: Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist with the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, said Tuesday's loss for AFSCME stands in "stark contrast" to the home-care worker vote. "This touches on some of the changes in the economy. You see more people seeing themselves as independent businesses," he...

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