The billionaire brothers, who head of Koch Industries and finance Tea Party activities, campaigns to crush unions and undercut environmental regulations, are, not surprisingly, quickly taking advantage of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC to influence the way their employees vote.
In a piece for The Nation, Mark Ames and Mike Elk report on recent efforts of Charles and David Koch to sway their workers during the midterm elections. The magazine highlights a “Koch Industries election packet,” sent to most of the company’s workers rife with “alarmist right-wing propaganda.” The packet contained a list of candidates favored by the brothers as well a newsletter with an editorial trumpeting “Tea Party themes,” and an article portraying an out-of-control federal government determined to muzzle the free speech of the brothers.
Ames and Elk, however, write that “the strangest and most disturbing article of all comes from the head of Koch Industries himself, Charles Koch, who offers an election-year history lesson to his employees.” Part of that history includes that claim that President Warren G. Harding helped lead “one of the most prosperous [eras] in U.S. history.” Koch said Harding’s slashing of taxes and federal spending were what helped make him such a wonderful president.
Marquette University law school professor Paul M. Secunda told The Nation, “Before Citizens United, federal election law allowed a company like Koch Industries to talk to officers and shareholders about whom to vote for, but not to talk with employees about whom to vote for. Now companies like Koch Industries are free to send out newsletters persuading their employees how to vote. They can even intimidate their employees into voting for their candidates.”