Kochs to their workers: Elect Romney or suffer the consequences

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"All citizens deserves the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. Stop your efforts to intimidate your employees into voting for Mitt Romney."
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Tell the Kochs: Stop stifling political speech and intimidating employees.

Dear Friend,

It is a fundamental right of our democracy: One person, one vote. Every citizen should have the freedom to vote his or her conscience. That's the American way.

But now the Koch brothers are using Citizens United and the growing menace of corporate power to subvert our elections and take away this right by intimidating their employees into supporting Mitt Romney for president.

The Koch's sent 45,000 employees at their Georgia Pacific subsidiary a "voter information packet" which contained a letter saying that by electing Barack Obama "many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills."1

Every citizen — even people who call the Koch brothers "boss" — deserves the right to vote for the candidate of their choice free from coercion or intimidation. And no one should have to endure scary-sounding, ill-defined threats from the boss for exercising their right to vote.

Tell the Koch brothers: Stop intimidating voters who work for your companies. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

In addition to the intimidating letter from Koch Industries President and CEO Dave Robertson, the voter information packet obtained by In These Times contained a list of Koch-endorsed candidates, an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch.

Thanks to Citizens United this type of corporate electioneering to employees isn't technically illegal. But the Kochs and other corporate barons have been using their growing power, combined with weak labor laws, to intimidate their employees into supporting their political views.

To make matters worse, Koch Industries has instituted a strict social media policy, even for employees' personal accounts and for items posted outside of work. One worker was denied a promotion on the grounds of being "too political" and was criticized getting "caught up in the politics of the day which can be a distraction."2 The policy might not stand up in court — but a worker would have to risk losing their job to challenge it.

Tell the Koch brothers: Let your employees vote their conscience in the presidential election. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

The Koch Brothers are leading the pack of corporate efforts to influence elections, and now intimidate workers into supporting the boss' preferred candidate — but they are certainly not alone.

The CEO of Westgate Resorts sent an email to his 7,000 employees informing them that "what does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration."3 Coal company Murray Energy has perhaps gone even further. A recent article in the New Republic exposing efforts by CEO Robert Murray to strongly encourage employees to donate to Republican candidates.

These efforts are all fundamental threats to the right of every eligible citizen to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. So it's important to push back on these efforts by the Kochs and others.

Do we actually expect the Koch brothers to listen? Not willingly. But if we make enough noise, we can shine a spotlight on the Kochs shameful worker intimidation, and put in check their efforts in these final weeks to stifle workplace political speech to benefit Mitt Romney, the Kochs and their fellow billionaires.

Click below to automatically sign the petition:

Thank you for defending everyone's right to vote free from intimidation.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Koch Sends Pro-Romney Mailing to 45,000 Employees While Stifling Workplace Political Speech," In These Times, 10/14/12
2. ibid
3. "The CEO Who Built Himself America's Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama's Elected" Gawker, 10/9/12
4. "Coal Miner's Donor: A Mitt Romney benefactor and his surprisingly generous employees." The New Republic, 10/4/12


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