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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Radical Right Wing Extremism At Its Best

Koch Industries Instructed 50K Employees How They Were Supposed To Vote In 2010 Elections


Writing yesterday in the Nation, Mark Ames and Mike Elk reveal that Koch Industries mailed a letters to 50,000 employees instructing them on who to vote for in the 2010 midterm elections. The Koch packet given to employees included candidate names, a letter from a Koch lobbyist, and a right-wing screed from the company and the Washington Examiner, an outlet owned by Phil Anschutz, a billionaire who is close to the Koch family. (View a copy of the packet here.)

Corporate coercion of employees is perhaps the most profound repercussion from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision last year. The Nation spoke to several law experts who noted that “Citizens United frees Koch Industries and other corporations to propagandize their employees with their political preferences.” Before the decision, businesses were prohibited from instructing their employees to vote a certain way.

Not only was Koch active in helping push the Citizens United decision (several of the groups filing amicus briefs supporting unlimited corporate spending were funded by Koch), but Koch actively planned for exploiting the decision. When we exposed a memo outlining the 2010 secret Koch political strategy meeting with fellow right-wing donors, we noted that the summit included a presentation from Karl Crow. Crow is a Koch operative who had penned a memo calling for corporations to exploit Citizens United and aggressively use “employees, vendors, and customers” as tools for advancing business interests in the political sphere:
She predicts the Citizens United decision will correct the law’s imbalance and open the door for businesses to educate “their employees, vendors and customers about candidates and officeholders whose philosophies and voting records would destroy or permanently damage America’s free enterprise system.” For many nonprofits the Citizens United decision creates a host of new political opportunities in the 2010 elections and beyond. Under the ruling, trade associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, classified as a 501(c)(6) group by the IRS, and 501(c)(4) grassroots advocacy groups like Americans for Prosperity can now use general treasury funds to produce communications materials opposing or supporting specific candidates and legislation. In a memorandum Mitchell outlined the new communications possibilities for 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s. They include voter guides, candidate questionnaires, voting records and public advertising.
Currently, Crow is heading up a vast new Koch-funded project called “Themis” to mobilize voters for the 2012 election cycle.

The group ThinkProgress has covered this disturbing trend of corporate political coercion since 2009. While researching the health insurance industry’s efforts to kill health reform, they discovered that a consulting firm called Democracy, Data and Communications (DDC) that actually specializes in helping large corporations organize their employees into mini-lobbyists. DDC currently consults for Koch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several banks, the tobacco industry, and health insurance companies.

All we can say is WOW……. you just can’t make this stuff up!