Skip to main content

   This sounds like something out of the 1920's, which is exactly where the David Koch's of the world would like America to go back to.

   Mike Elk is a phenomenal writer who focus on labor issues. Please read this stunning piece about how the Koch Brothers are using political intimidation against their employees in an attempt to control their workers' votes. Because the Koch Brothers believe in freedom, and by that they mean their own freedom as billionaires to do as they please, not yours as a worker you stupid peasant. Hat tip to kossack IAmNotAKochSucker for pointing this out to me . . .

   Much has been written about the owners of Koch Industries, brothers David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, trying to control the political process through hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to right-wing causes and candidates. Now, an In These Times investigation reveals that the billionaires have broken out another tactic to influence the 2012 elections: attempting to control their workers’ votes.

     In a voter information packet obtained by In These Times, the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president. The guide was similar to one the company distributed before the 2010 midterm elections, which Mark Ames and I reported on in The Nation last year.

   In the article, Mike Elk exposes how Koch Industries regulates their employees use of social media to ban opinions that oppose the Koch brothers views.

    Tactics include monitoring employees social media use outside of the workplace, demanding "that workers seek approval from supervisors before running for local elected office or serving on the boards of nonprofits" and denying promotions to employees who are "too political", i.e. not Republican enough. If this is freedom I'd hate to see what corporate fascism looks like.

   More below the fold . . .

   The packet sent to employees of Koch Industries is similar to one sent out back in 2010, which Mark Ames and Mike Elk wrote about at the time.

    “This sort of election propaganda seems like a new development,” says UCLA law professor Katherine Stone, who specializes in labor law and who reviewed the Koch Industries election packet for The Nation. “Until Citizens United, this sort of political propaganda was probably not permitted. But after the Citizens United decision, I can imagine it’ll be a lot more common, with restrictions on corporations now lifted.”

     The election packet starts with a letter from Robertson dated October 4, 2010. It read: “As Koch company employees, we have a lot at stake in the upcoming election. Each of us is likely to be affected by the outcome on Nov. 2. That is why, for the first time ever, we are mailing our newest edition of Discovery and several other helpful items to the home address of every U.S. employee” [emphasis added].

     For most Koch employees, the “helpful items” included a list of Koch-approved candidates, which was presented on a separate page labeled “Elect to Prosper.” A brief introduction to the list reads: “The following candidates in your state are supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, the political action committee for Koch companies. We believe these candidates will best advance policies supporting economic freedom.”

  Economic freedom for the super rich means predatory exploitation for everyone else.
Putting the "Mockery" in "Killing Democracy"
    When McKinney applied for a foreman job at the plant in May, he says, his supervisor informed him that a higher-up said he wouldn’t get the job because he was “too political.” “They said I should be aware of what I am posting online,” says McKinney. A subsequent August evaluation of McKinney noted that “supervisors feel Travis gets caught up in the politics of the day which can be distraction.”

  If you are a worker and you get caught up in the politics of the day it is a "distraction." Why worry your pretty little head? Just go back to work and let the billionaires handle this for you, because the billionaires who finance the Republican Party certainly have your best interests in mind.

   Let me tell you something, if you have to intimidate your workers into supporting your views on liberty than you aren't supporting liberty, you are supporting serfdom. Promoting liberty doesn't require intimidation, never has, never will. Promoting servitude, though, requires lots of intimidation.

   Georgia Pacific’s employees don’t find the Koch’s courage so inspiring.

     “I don’t even put down on my Facebook that I work at Georgia Pacific. I put that I work for the Camas Paper mill. It’s embarrassing to let people know that you work for Georgia Pacific because of what the Koch brothers are doing,” says one employee who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being fired. “They are destroying the planet. They are trying to buy the votes. They think they are so high and mighty. They have their principles. They just think their way is the only way and they think everyone else is wrong.”

   Taking away your employees freedom of speech in the name of liberty? The workers at Koch Industries owned Georgia Pacific who blew the whistle on these tactics have certainly put their jobs at risk. The Koch brothers pay lip service to freedom, but what they really believe in is a rigged game where the Koch Bros make all the rules and where they always win.

    A country dictated to by the wealthy isn't a democracy, it's an aristocracy of oligarchs. But doesn't this story expose what utter bullshit the Koch version of "liberty" is? If money equals freedom of speech than not being rich is like being born without vocal cords, and despite all of the money the Koch brothers are spending to buy this election that isn't enough, they have to intimidate their workers too. That doesn't sound like a Democracy or even a Republic. It sounds like a dictatorship.

   Amidst the voter suppression efforts carried out by Tea Party groups that are funded by the Koch bros and others like them, and the huge sums of money being spent to lie to voters via Citizens United styled SuperPACs funded by Koch Industries, can we at least admit one thing? The wealthy aristocracy,the Koch brothers and their puppets have a vision of America's future, and that vision looks frighteningly like the worst images of the past.

   Kudos to Mike Elk. Please share this story. If you aren't following @MikeElk on twitter and elsewhere, you should. He is promising to release tons of confidential Koch Industry internal documents soon. The way this guy delivers, I'm looking forward to it.

   If only we had more real journalists like Mike Elk in America we wouldn't be in this mess.

Peace and love to all,

The floor is now yours.

Image Hosting by




Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Louise, Angie in WA State, Joe Bob, Sylv, DeminNewJ, Chi, hannah, grollen, NYmom, kainah, Bob Love, TechBob, Emerson, Debby, Shockwave, Eman, Pescadero Bill, kpardue, SanJoseLady, celdd, eeff, Mnemosyne, frsbdg, xynz, MarkInSanFran, zeroooo, exNYinTX, expat germany, hubcap, niemann, Creosote, davelf2, Morgana, rasbobbo, EvieCZ, EricS, cskendrick, cyberKosFan, BlackSheep1, annrose, susakinovember, whenwego, ask, boadicea, Bionic, chimpy, roses, PeteZerria, Nate Roberts, Iberian, Cedwyn, hopeful, wader, revsue, Quege, Redfire, tidalwave1, edrie, dejavu, Nag, Joe Bacon, TexDem, NYC Sophia, MA Liberal, Spot Cat, laughingriver, wdrath, homo neurotic, dwahzon, Steven Payne, defluxion10, papercut, lcrp, riverlover, inclusiveheart, Lilith, walkshills, Oaktown Girl, nswalls, zerelda, mungley, Steven D, Josiah Bartlett, Gowrie Gal, sb, rapala, Skennet Boch, bloomer 101, 3goldens, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, DianeNYS, ichibon, UFOH1, subtropolis, Alice Marshall, democracy inaction, irate, PBen, kitchen sink think tank, basquebob, dewtx, YucatanMan, eru, SaraBeth, sallyfallschurch, Pam from Calif, skyounkin, Ice Blue, Phil S 33, most peculiar mama, markdd, LucyandByron, Isara, Tool, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Savvy813, berkshireblue, bunsk, Cory Bantic, Brian B, peacestpete, kathny, fhcec, xaxnar, Jim P, reddbierd, martini, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, 417els, BlueInARedState, Naranjadia, cookseytalbott, liberalconservative, mooshter, victoria2dc, Shakludanto, Wednesday Bizzare, blueoasis, SherriG, StrayCat, A Siegel, Libby Shaw, bleeding heart, middleagedhousewife, justiceputnam, llbear, IL clb, profh, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, Statusquomustgo, Little, krwheaton, ladypockt, anna shane, old wobbly, Sapere aude, Noor B, out of left field, dotsright, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Haningchadus14, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, gloriana, EdSF, yoduuuh do or do not, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, wildweasels, david mizner, HeartlandLiberal, terabytes, jedennis, martyinsfo, BlueInKansas, crose, cyncynical, jnhobbs, carpunder, hopi13, Librarianmom, pioneer111, uciguy30, leonard145b, fallina7, madgranny, spearfish, trueblueliberal, Assaf, South Park Democrat, TomP, Empower Ink, JDWolverton, Blue Boy Red State, gundyj, jack 1966, GAS, ScottyUrb, Cordwainer, OleHippieChick, Aureas2, Involuntary Exile, elwior, lineatus, DCBlue, KJG52, Its any one guess, jamess, mikeconwell, TomFromNJ, tofumagoo, royce, pamelabrown, Cassandra Waites, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, alnep, brasilaaron, Gemina13, Horsefeathers, Notreadytobenice, luckylizard, Troubadour, suesue, Nica24, Mayfly, angelino, statsone, legendmn, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, Mrs M, rubyclaire, weaponsofmassdeception, arendt, Dirtandiron, ARS, litoralis, CanyonWren, Norm in Chicago, susanWAstate, WakeUpNeo, socal altvibe, ToKnowWhy, DefendOurConstitution, virginwoolf, petral, marzook, asym, papahaha, Keith Pickering, stevenwag, sfarkash, Little Flower, jfromga, jan0080, Larsstephens, Railfan, MT in Austin, Just Bob, Renie57, marabout40, The Jester, estreya, drainflake77, seishin, jethrock, secret38b, Anima, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, Simple, dagnome, Eddie L, gulfgal98, samanthab, Puddytat, rja, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, Oh Mary Oh, Actbriniel, slice, Onomastic, kerflooey, Front Toward Enemy, Lost Left Coaster, ozsea1, StateofEuphoria, spooks51, Catherine R, slowbutsure, sabo33, sostos, vahana, AuroraDawn, gbinwc, asterkitty, it really is that important, princesspat, lawyernerd, Deleuzional, marleycat, zukesgirl64, Cinnamon, cyberpuggy, Cinnamon Rollover, KVoimakas, seattlebarb, MRA NY, IB JOHN, enhydra lutris, antimony, corvaire, bluedust, Liberal Mole, poliwrangler, VTCC73, Caddis Fly, diffrntdrummr, bakeneko, Vatexia, Hayate Yagami, stlsophos, Metalman68, googie, Mentatmark, allergywoman, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, Mathazar, BlueDragon, AnnetteK, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, Only Needs a Beat, daysey, stormicats, Liberal Granny, KiB, OldDragon, Voiceless, cwsmoke, Williston Barrett, Siri, IndieGuy, Joieau, a2nite, AreDeutz, draa, FloridaSNMOM, JGibson, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, caliblue, jan4insight, reginahny, TBug, radical simplicity, BusyinCA, MartyM, pittie70, Buckeye54, sexgenderbody, Margd, wxorknot, marty marty, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, fauve, ShoshannaD, Abelia, corpsechorus, Captain Chaos, Prospect Park, Lily O Lady, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Sam Sara, jbob, JayRaye, poopdogcomedy, DownstateDemocrat, goodpractice, weck, The Hamlet, SheilaKinBrooklyn, IamNotaKochsucker, GwenM, Orange Bluet, howabout, northerntier, bob152, Nyerd, Smoh, Laura Wnderer, ET3117, Hey338Too, Blazehawkins, tampaedski, pragmaticidealist, Jim Domenico, WFBMM, Rumor, KHKS, CenPhx, lafmac

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site