The Koch brothers get a lot of attention because they dump millions of dollars into conservative causes and candidates. But the scope of their influence reaches even further than their astroturf campaigns and strategy conferences.
According the The Nation, Koch Industries sent an “urgent” letter to most of its 50,000 employees advising them who to vote for and warning them about the “dire consequences” that would come to their families, their jobs and their country should the employee decided to vote against Koch Industries recommendations.
Once again we can thank Citizens United for this disturbing development in corporate politicking. Prior to the controversial ruling, federal election law let a company talk to its board about candidates and issues but was prohibited from those kinds of efforts with employees because they were seen as potentially coercive and corruptive to the electoral process. The Citizens United ruling obliterated that distinction.
Given the long history of political involvement in the electoral process, it’s reasonable to think Koch Industries is on the forefront of this new wave of voter intimidation. Even the disclosures obtained by The Nation in support of their story show that it was for the November midterms that Koch Industries made “voter education packets” available to employees.
That means we can expect other employers to follow suit, if they haven’t already.
photo courtesy of hjl via Flickr