Koch brothers become political Big Brother
Koch Industries’ employees have been forced to attend seminars, received out of the ordinary 17 page documents which praise the Calvin Coolidge and push libertarianism. The Kochs even went as far as sending an urgent memo to all staff just prior to the November 2010 midterm elections offering advice on who they should vote for if they wished to avoid dismal consequences to their jobs, families and friends. The US Supreme Court decision on Citizens United has changed how corporations can act politically, from donating funds to pushing politics in the workplace. In the past, companies had to remain mum and impartial, where each employee had to volunteer their own funds and views to politics. That is no longer the case.Under Citizens United corporations are free to fund whoever whenever they want and they can push a specific political view and agenda on their employees. Labor journalist Mike Elk explained the US is entering a new era of election profiteering by corporations who can issue propaganda and pressure employees to abide by a specific political direction. “Once you start politicizing the workplace, and your boss is walking around wearing a Republican button, that kind of puts pressure on you to wear a republican button too. If you want a raise, if you get along with your boss, you have to agree with him a little bit,” explained Elk.Corporations can now require workers to attend long meeting about voting for specific parties or support certain laws or issues. Companies have practiced similar policies in the past when it comes to unions, explained Elk. Employees often support unions at first, then; companies hold meetings highlighting specific union issues and conduct employee reviews, scaring employees away from unions.“Worker’s vote down unions because they are afraid of their bosses,” he said. Similarly, workers may vote for the candidates or parties their bosses support out of fear of repercussions at work. For years such practices were illegal in the US, but now under Citizens United everything has changed.