Grit your teeth Gary Glenn foes: Architect of Idaho’s right-to-work honored for Michigan win

The effects of  Michigan’s new right-to-work law may take months and years to play out but a group that backed the law saluted Glenn Thursday for his work on a campaign making once union-friendly Michigan a place where workers in union workplaces don’t have to pay dues.

Glenn led the effort to enact right-to-work in the Idaho Legislature in 1985 and to defend the law against a voter initiative in 1986. He later became an Ada County commissioner and losing GOP candidate for Congress. A native North Carolinian, Glenn left Idaho for Michigan in 1998.

Glenn was honored by Union Conservatives, a group founded by Terry Bowman, a member of the United Auto Workers who works at Ford’s Ypsilanti plant.

Glenn ran for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Michigan last year, but dropped out when polls showed him at 6 percent.

Ever the publicist,  Glenn sent a news release to Idaho media early Friday and attached  a photo (below) featuring him, Bowman and Glenn’s award plaque.


GG and Terry Bowman -- UC banquet Mar 28, 2013


Glenn’s news release follows: (Sorry about the crunched formatting; I couldn’t get the paragraph breaks to work. Also, Glenn has linked to a site that reproduces a 2010 profile of Glenn I wrote when he was in Boise to celebrate the 25th anniversary of right-to-work in Idaho).


News Release
For immediate release
March 29, 2013
Contact:  Gary Glenn 989-835-7978 (o)
               Terry Bowman, Union Conservatives
Glenn honored Thursday for leadership in Michigan Right to Work passage
LIVONIA, Mich. — Former Ada County Commissioner Gary Glenn, who led the campaign to enact Idaho’s Right to Work law in the 1980′s before moving to Michigan in 1998, Thursday was honored by a group of conservative union members for his leadership in the successful drive to enact that state’s new Right to Work law, which prohibits forcing employees to financially support a labor union as a condition of employment.
Glenn, who in 2011 was a founding board member of Michigan Freedom to Work, the organization which successfully pushed for passage of the legislation signed into law last December, received an award from Union Conservatives president Terry Bowman, a United Auto Workers member, during the union group’s event celebrating the new law legally taking effect Thursday.
Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed the Right to Work legislation into law, and the legislative sponsors of the measure, Rep. Mike Shirkey and Sen. Pat Colbeck, also received awards recognizing their roles in passage of the law.
Glenn, whose 2012 Republican primary candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Michigan was endorsed by the National Right to Work PAC, said he was ”honored to receive recognition from the true heroes of this issue, those pro-Right to Work union members who have the courage to stand for individual freedom in the face of hostility for their views every day on the job.”
“They are the true face of this issue, and it has been my privilege to help fight to ensure that every Michigan employee is free to choose whether to join or financially support a labor union, without threat of being discriminated against or fired either way,” Glenn said. “The days, hopefully, are over when Michiganders could legally be forced j– as a condition of continued employment – to give money to a hyper-political private organization whose politics they adamantly oppose.”
Glenn, who as president of the American Family Association of Michigan coauthored the state’s Marriage Protection Amendment constitutionally defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, pointed to that issue as an example. Polls in 2004 found that two-thirds of union households in Michigan voted in favor of the amendment when it appeared on the November ballot, but Michigan AFL-CIO and MEA union officials spent those same union members’ compulsory dues to fund union campaign activities opposing the amendment.
After voters approved the amendment, an AFL-CIO-affiliated homosexual group filed a lawsuit attempting to limit the amendment’s enforcement, which was rejected by the Michigan Supreme Court.Glenn said once union officials’ anticipated attempt to place an initiative to repeal the new Right to Work law on the November 2014 ballot is defeated, and businesses worldwide are assured the law will remain in effect, it ”will also play a dramatic role — as it has in other Right to Work states for decades – in attracting and creating the new business and new higher-paying jobs Michigan families desperately need for our state’s future.
“Michigan is not the first state in which Glenn has played a leadership role in enactment of such a law. As executive director of the Idaho Freedom to Work Committee, Glenn led the successful effort to enact a Right to Work law in Idaho in 1985 and to defend it from repeal on the November 1986 ballot. In 2010, he returned to Boise for a banquet — attended by Gov. Butch Otter and other state officials — celebrating the 25th anniversary of the law’s passage. in 1985, Glenn led a team of Right to Work supporters who traveled to Louisiana to beat back union officials’ attempt to repeal that state’s Right to Work law, and he helped launch an effort to enact the law in Oklahoma, which finally succeeded in 2001.
In the 1970′s and 80′s, he also worked for passage of such laws in three states that have yet to enact them – Delaware, New Hampshire, and New Mexico — and in 1983, he served as a Congressional lobbyist for the National Right to Work Committee in Washington, D.C..
“In Idaho and Michigan and in other states, it has been a blessing to have the opportunity to work and fight for this fundamental individual liberty, religious freedom, and rights of conscience issue in the workplace for over 30 years, and I look forward to the day when every American – in all 50 states – is free to hold a job without being forced to join or give money to a union.”
Glenn later during the event gave the introduction for National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix, who congratulated Michigan Right to Work supporters on their victory and pledged support in defeating union officials’ efforts to repeal the law and reimpose requirements that Michigan employees financially support the union in their workplace as a condition of continued employment.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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