FFM Bulletin 2/23/12

Unions fight Robbinsdale school district plan to save $2 million

You’d think a proposal to save $2 million in annual operating costs in a suburban school district would be welcomed by most people within the district. Unfortunately for the Robbinsdale Independent School District 281, that’s not the case.

Enter SEIU Local 284. The union has issues with a school board proposal to privatize bussing in the district. The district estimates the savings would amount to $2 million in operating costs in the first year alone.  You would think that the opportunity to save $2 million in school operations would be substantial enough for even the staunchest union advocate, but that hasn’t prevented the local SEIU chapter from throwing district taxpayers under the bus.

An article from Workday Minnesota, a union news source, cited a pro-union advocate who claimed this issue is “a matter of safety and security for our children.” The article also said a social cost of privatization is the “erosion of the community’s employment base.”

The Robbinsdale school board will vote on the measure on March 5. Hopefully school board members will see through this extreme rhetoric and make their decisions on what is best for taxpayers, parents and students instead of SEIU’s highly paid union leadership.

Trust Fund Environmentalism: An FFM Investigative Report

Last week, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota released the first two installments of our three-part Accountability Alert series- “Trust Fund Environmentalism” -that examines a coordinated $48 million campaign by wealthy out-of-state foundations to rewrite Minnesota’s energy and environmental policy.

This morning, we released the final section of the investigative report that examines whether or not “engaged philanthropy” is a backdoor way of injecting special interest mega contributions into the Minnesota public policy process.

Part III in this series examines the success by national foundations of altering Minnesota’s policy and how the model may be duplicated in other states. This network, the RE-AMP Energy Network (a group of well-endowed national foundations) has lavished unheard of amounts of special interest money on Minnesota green-oriented nonprofits as they relentlessly pursue their agenda. Now, this network is looking to build on its success in other states.

Help us get this important message out by forwarding this report to your friends. 

Senate Committee passes bill to prohibit automatic deduction of union dues

On Monday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HF 1766, which prohibits the deduction of union dues from child care assistance payments. The House passed the bill last week by a 74-55 margin.

“This bill makes it so that union dues and fair share fees may not be deducted from child care assistance payments and directly deposited; this bill ensures child care assistance dollars are applied directly to the care of children instead of being diverted directly to unions.”

Late last year, Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order that authorized an election by a subset of child care providers in the state. A Ramsey County judge froze the executive order on December 5, just two days before the ballots were set to be sent out across the state. The judge, Ramsey County District Court Judge Dale Lindman, ruled that Gov. Dayton exceeded his authority by issuing the executive order and suggested that legislation regarding unionization should begin in the legislature.

Read the entire article on Minnesota State News.

High school students: Deadline in one week for our Reagan Essay Contest

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota recently announced details of its 2011-2012 Ronald Reagan essay contest for Minnesota high schoolers. In its second year, this contest encourages Minnesota high school students to explore the leadership, legacies and values of America’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan.

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has supersized this year’s essay contest and will provide  $5,000 college scholarships to two grand prize winners! Entries must be submitted by February 29, 2012.

For all of the contest details, visit bit.ly/FFMreagan

FFM in the news
FFM CEO Annette Meeks was featured in the Star Tribune for her commentary piece on ticket freedom and the right to own what we purchase. From the piece: 

“Big events or popular concerts make ticket scalping inevitable. There is nothing to compare to attending the last game of the World Series. And consistently, market forces prevail. There are always a limited number of seats available to any popular event, and many people are willing to pay a competitive price to be part of it.”

Read the entire article here.


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