Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kyle's Predicatable Knee-Jerk Opposition

Not known for taking time for reflection, Kyle Olson managed today to issue his opinion within minutes of learning about the MEA's plan for countering next year's expected $410 million State Aid deficit. Not that the legislature has ever asked for it; Kyle is as, always, taking any shot he can think of at the MEA.

This is par for the Olson course:
The Muskegon-based Education Action Group is critical of the plan because it does nothing more than shift—and increase—the financial burden at a time when we can least afford it.
Now, as always, he loves to refer to himself in the third person, but more importantly he somehow manages to miss the obvious fact that the MEA plan shifts the cost from the state to the state. That's some shift!

He also hasn't noticed that Early Retirement Incentives (does the acronym 'ERI' ring a bell?) are everywhere these days because they save money. Google it Kyle! I got 276,000 hits! ERI's were recently or are now under consideration all across the U.S.: Ohio, Minnesota, Now Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, the list goes on and on. But of course, to find it you have to look for it .

But again, this isn't about facts, it never is. It's about Kyle trashing unions, meaning almost every single time, the MEA, as often as possible.

The silver lining here is that by issuing press releases like this, it helps seal his reputation as an union-obsessed zealot.

Why would anyone ever listen to this guy?

Monday, January 26, 2009

EAG's links to the Anti-Union Movement

Kyle recently had another MEA-bashing op ed printed, this time in the Lansing State Journal. My letter:

I just read Kyle Olson’s piece on the MEA. In it, he is referred to as the vice president of “a Muskegon-based non-profit that advocates spending reform in Michigan schools.” This is more or less accurate, but EAG is much more.

EAG was incorporated by Republican Party General Counsel Eric Doster and is run by Republican
State Committeeman, former Republican staffer, failed Republican candidate and former lobbyist Kyle Olson. Kyle’s brother Ryan was until recently the Mackinac Center’s Director of Education Policy.

EAG has always refused to disclose it's funding sources even in the face of accusations that it is a Mackinac Center front group. Olson says that EAG is financed by “a group of citizens and school board leaders” while the EAG Articles of Incorporation show: “The corporation is to be financed under the following general plan: contributions from corporate foundations and private foundations.”

A closer connection with the aggressively anti-union group UnionFacts is obvious. UnionFacts spent $1.3 million on TV and radio adds trashing unions last year. Like Kyle, they specialize in what’s been called “attack conservatism.” Kyle maintains the MEAexposed website while UnionFacts sponsors the TeachersUnionsExposed site. Both are making a major push into what they sell as “Hijacked Elections.”

Olson has also formed an IRS 527 group, the Education Action Fund. You’ll remember the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was a 527. What does a group that represents itself as non-partisan need with a 527?
EAG alternatively poses as an “education reform” or a “spending reform” group , but is in fact a well-financed Republican party operation charged with opposing the MEA on all fronts. A quick look at their website establishes this.

Your readers deserve a better description of the EAG so that they can judge its work. You can’t intelligently listen to anything Olson says without knowing his background.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Education Action Guy Sees Plots Everywhere He Looks

Last week Kyle posted another rant, this time that the Wayne Westland MEA local has the nerve to want to keep it's email communications private. He's sure that means they've got something to hide. Well other than the obvious observation that Kyle must be hiding something himself because he doesn't share his emails with the rest of us, there's this:

The MERC ALJ requires the WWEA communicate through their website, which is password protected, and to advise their members that the updates are for members only. This is part of the interim agreement.

Given that these are merely facts it's no shock that Kyle ignores them. He has, after all, always limited himself to the Republican attack campaign style.

The posting includes a link to an WWEA newsletter that makes a good point. While Kyle obsesses over MESSA, he never gives a thought to how much the WW school district spends on legal fees, administrator salaries, district buildings, administrator health insurance and on and on. He's only outraged by money spent on MESSA.

I'll save you the suspense, that's because he's been assigned to oppose the MEA in every way possible. Look at his website: MEA, MEA, MEA.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kyle Cries Foul!

In the last election go round, the Republicans took a pretty good beating after using their usual vilanizing campaign technique. Who'd of thought labeling Obama a pal of terrorists wouldn't work? But voters are pretty obviously tired of that kind of character assassination. Obvious to the rest of us; not to Kyle.

This kind of tactic is his bread and butter. Look over his website and it's all you'll find. Take for example his suggestion that MEA members fight for MESSA coverage because: “they can't live without coverage for such things as sex-change operations and massages.” Or his suggestion that a candlelight vigil by privatized MEA members would make Fidel Castro "proud."

Today he writes to complain about me writing in this blog, and then guesses that it is run by "a community college instructor that has foamed at the mouth about EAG at school board meetings, blogs, news sites, and anywhere else that will accept his anger and vitriol." It's hard to feel Kyle's pain, when he's such a virtuoso of the ad-hominem attack.

And for the record, I haven't a clue who runs this blog. I sent a couple of contributions to, and then got an email allowing me to post. You can do the same.