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First, the unions came for home-care providers. Next, they came for babysitters…

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 5, 2009 01:03 PM

In Illinois, in-home providers who care for the developmentally disabled are battling an aggressive power grab by the SEIU Purple Army and its Democrat enablers.

In Michigan, the unions are going after…home-based child care workers.

That’s right.

Last month, the Mackinac Center blew the whistle on the scheme and filed suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services to prevent illegal siphoning of so-called “union dues” from state child care assistance payments to home-based day care providers. Instead of an executive order, the Michigan government abetted the unions by creating a “shell” corporation through the use of an “interlocal agreement” between the state’s DHS and a local community College. Here’s the deal:

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, a newly created public-interest law firm, today filed suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services in a case where a “shell corporation” was established to shanghai more than 40,000 home-based day care business owners into a government employees union. On behalf of two owners, Sherry Loar and Dawn Ives, the MCLF filed an action at the Michigan Court of Appeals seeking to stop the DHS from improperly siphoning “union dues” out of state subsidy checks meant to provide assistance to low-income parents.

“The DHS, UAW and AFSCME have devised a scheme to siphon $3.7 million into union bank accounts,” said Wright. “They’ve done this by concocting a new government entity that they allege transforms 40,000 home-based private contractors into government employees and union members. If Sherry and Dawn are government employees simply because a few of their customers receive government aid, then doctors, landlords and independent grocers can’t be far behind.”

To achieve this massive increase in government employees, the DHS and unions appear to have created a shell corporation using an interlocal agreement between the agency and Mott Community College, a move that Wright criticized as extraconstitutional.

“If the state is determined to place these day care providers in a union, it needs an act of the Legislature,” said Wright. “Two government agencies cannot conjure up the power to change the law simply because they are working together.”

Both plaintiffs enjoy running their own businesses, and both provide an important service to parents and children in their community. They do not work for the state of Michigan, and aside from the parents who hire them, they do not work for an employer. Although they describe themselves as long-time union supporters, Loar and Ives were shocked last year when they received notification in the mail that they were considered dues-paying members of the Child Care Providers Together Michigan union.

“I’m not opposed to unions; everything has a place,” said Loar. “But when we enter my door, this is my home.”

Video interviews with the plaintiffs and all background legal documents can be found here and here.

A formal reply to the lawsuit is due on October 7.

Who’s next? Pay attention.

The Culture of Corruption has never hit so close to home.

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