Corporate CEOs Are Turning Their Employees Into Republican Foot Soldiers

Over the weekend, labor reporter Mike Elk with In These Times magazine revealed that the Koch brothers sent political fliers to all of their 45,000 employees at Georgia Pacific – hinting that their jobs might be on the line if they don’t vote for Mitt Romney. The letter warns that if employees elect Barack Obama, then “many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences.” The letter goes on to list political candidates that the Kochs support – all of which were Republicans. Elk also exposes social media rules at Georgia Pacific that work to limit the political speech of their workers as well as intimidation used against workers who are too politically active.

The Kochs are the latest in a long line of CEOs that have made veiled threats against their employees to vote for Mitt Romney. Last week – Westgate Resorts billionaire CEO David Siegel warned his employees that should Barack Obama raise his taxes, then he would be forced to downsize his company. Also – ASG Software Solutions CEO Arthur Allen sent an email to his employees warning there will be “fallout” if Barack Obama wins the presidency again. And then there’s Murray Energy – the largest private coal company in the nation – which, according to The New Republic, has coerced its employees to donate money to Republican politicians.

Unbelievably – coercing employees like this to support certain political candidates is not illegal. And it’s just the latest example of how the super-rich have a lot more free speech rights now in America than working people do. And since many Americans are desperate for a job – they have to go along with what their bosses say just to be able to keep food on the table - knowing full well that a vote for Mitt Romney is against their own best interests.

This is how the corporatocracy operates today.


Henrietta 10 years 23 weeks ago

If I were an employee of a company that told me how to vote, I would be glad that I could go into a private voting booth and vote for whomever i wanted to.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 23 weeks ago

That's not as bad as unions taking dues and giving it to political parties with the union member having no say at all where the money goes. Besides maybe the Koch brothers are right. Just saying.

ottmar123's picture
ottmar123 10 years 23 weeks ago

As a Canadian observer I cannot help but to offer a quote from George Orwell,"we are now an unpeople".

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 23 weeks ago

WSJ today..."including Mr. Romney's plan for a 20% reduction in individual tax rates. But the GOP ticket would not "detail" which tax breaks it wanted to scale back in order to prevent the cut from adding the the deficit..." the only taxes they will cut yet again will be the rich!! I just researched and compared some tax summaries. one of an investment type earner with moderately high gross and one for a couple pulling straight w-2s. the question all those employees being threatened should be asking is just how much the boss paid in taxes as they the working stiff continue to get stiffed!!! what i found between these 2 summaries was disturbing to say the least. the bottom line "taxable" income of the investment type earner was 25% more then the w-2 folk yet...hold on to your britches..the total tax owed by the investment earner was 78.33% less then the folks with a w-2!!!! hu, what! the w-2 folk paid over 13k to the only 2.8k paid by the cap gainer. Wake up people! spread the word!!! something is seriously wrong in AMerica!!!!! quite rippin off my pay check and start making some of the other tax dodgers pay!!!

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 23 weeks ago

Remember most investment earners are seniors. You want seniors to pay for the over spending government does. Are you kidding me.

rick333d's picture
rick333d 10 years 23 weeks ago

You gotta be joking!

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 23 weeks ago

"When does the greed stop?" Senator Kennedy said January 2007 on the floor of the Senate. The Rich have beaten the wages down, now they want to cut any support for the working class who fall below the poverty line. They beat us at the "Front Door" and now beat us at the "Back Door". The wages are so low that a working family asks for support and the Rich are saying "No". They have crossed the threshold of being greedy and are now, simply, being cruel. To be a Republican today, one must be Rich, Cruel, or Politically Ignorant, and they are not mutually exclusive!

speakeasy's picture
speakeasy 10 years 23 weeks ago

My only question is how are these CEO's going to know who the people they are threatening are voting for?

They cannot go into the voting booth with them.

klentz's picture
klentz 10 years 23 weeks ago

The Koch brothers are clearly delusional in their belief that a 2nd Obama presidency would be the end of capitalism as we know it, and I think they really believe that. One pre-requisite of being a republican these days is being conspiratorial about and afraid of everything.

I imagine that most of Georgia Pacific employees are rational enough to realize that (A) their overlords are nut cases; (B) if Obama is elected, there will be no change in their job status; and (C) since their votes will be cast in private, there will be no individual repercussions.

I have received emails from division VPs in the semiconductor industry "suggesting" that we support certain (republican) candidates and that it would be advantageous to our careers to donate to their campaigns. To which I have always ignored and never suffered repercussions.

The only employees who buy into this nonsense are those who are themselves conspiratorial, thus already republicans. Net gain =0.

Outsidelookingin 10 years 23 weeks ago

If the Republican Party is “the party of God” as they seem to view themselves, they have forgotten at least two (2) (of many) strong teachings of God in the Bible:

· God hates liars

· God is against “those that oppress the hireling in his wages”

Proverbs 6:

16 There are six things which the LORD hateth, yea, seven which are an abomination unto Him:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood;

18 A heart that deviseth wicked thoughts, feet that are swift in running to evil;

19 A false witness that breatheth out lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Malachi 3:

5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers; and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Deuterotomy 5:

16 Thou shalt not murder. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. (obviously, one of the 10 Commandments)

Revelation 21:

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 22:

15 Outside (the city of God) are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

It seems to me that the self-righteous “Christian” GOP purveyors of the ideology of greed and doing and saying anything, true or not, to get power so they can make / steal even more money need to be outed as not really following all the instructions of God (not even mentioning Matthew 25).

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 23 weeks ago

No Rick, I am not joking. This is way to important to joke about. Can America take four more years and 5 trillion more debt?

delster's picture
delster 10 years 23 weeks ago

Kend , ofcoure US citizens can take four more years of 5 trillion or more debt that was perpetuated by the last illegal Bush / Cheney admisnistration. Is Simple math that hard ? If we were not an imperialist nation we would not need the largest military budget in the world which happens to be an excessive part of our debt over social services. As a conservative farm boy, infantry veteran,

and business owner I can see the way the earths axis is being tilted by national and international corporate interests. Under any other time these con artists would be in violation of constitutional anti trust laws. Now these Godzillian monsters are and have been high jacking democracy and freedom by bribery, intimidation, leveraging religious organizations, perverting legal voting rights, among other devices and usary overlooked or considered too corrupt by the Cosa Nostra. The poplulation of the US has grown 4 fold since Kennedy was President and still growing. Still Growing. Still Growing. Corporations have opted to employ every form of labor saving technology to avoid hiring. The number of jobs created in high tech pale in comparison to the number of good paying occupations eliminated as a result of robotics and computerization. Really ! Again! Simple math. Ther are not enough opportunities for employment. There will not be enough jobs in the future. It is time the corporate thugs leveled with the world. The US military and the beurocracy are the largest form of socialism in the world. I've been in both. How much independence and freedom does an non union employee experience working for a corporation ? Non ! That is because corporations are not democracies, their dictatorships and not about to become democratic once they control the government. The social unrest, terrorism, wacked out PTSD soldiers with two sandwiches and a AR15 in bell towers will be overwhelming. Riots and looting caused by austerity programs aimed at honest ambitious unemployed folks will make Bellfast in the 70's look like Sunday School. Most of the weapons developed today by our military are for crowd control. Corporations see this comming. This final conflict is against the citizens of this nation. It is the oldest formula in history. A few despots controlling every aspect of the livestock they own.

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 10 years 23 weeks ago

I honestly think Herman Cain was on the right track. The USA needs a national sales tax on all goods, services, property transactions, etc. of at least 10% with up to 30% of that 10% going to state and local governments. Why tie in state and local governments? If people fail to pay it, they get triple prosecution. Most governments around the world have a national sales tax ( It is the only way to tax a foreign corporation outside of tariffs. In turn, income tax can be adjusted accordingly. Many companies are moving overseas. Much more money can be accrued using a sales tax verses income tax of a US based company. I do want to see transacation taxes for securities as Nader and others have suggested. Our current tax system is asking people to pay for foreign produced goods and services to be subsidized by US taxpayers. Taxing on the sales price given higher markups simply helps to level the playing field, especially considering the associated modification of personal and corporate taxes. In addition to a sales tax, anything sold in the USA should meet USA labor standards if not European labor standards without exception. The USA should not in any way condone or fail to address slavery, crime, human rights violations, equality, child labor standards, or any other USA and European standard.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 10 years 23 weeks ago

I noted this after Citizen's United won it's supreme court case.

I've also noted that next on the agenda are behavioral interviews that will select the preferred right-wing, republican, fascist, and quite frankly and most likely 'white' employees.


Citizen's United is giving the wealthies donors the ability to give past the minimum personal gift allowed. In this, via the coroporate boards and creme de la creme investors. These people are double-dipping their wallets.

And, on the very nature of being an employee: Why should I allow a corporation to give its excess wealth to a preferred political agenda and party. In the OLD days, when businesses saw excess wealth they returned some of this to the employees in the form of higher wages and/or holiday/yearly bonuses.

Corner us enough and WAR begins to brew . . .

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 23 weeks ago

Isn't this illegal?

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 23 weeks ago

History shows us that ALL Governments do decline from healthy ideas which in time are tread upon...What kills "healthy ideas"???Turning them into some sort of absolute belief system. Example: All those who flead England to get away from the oppressive rule of a tyrant king. Yes their idea's (Equality, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) made for a healthy fondation on which to develop an Independent Nation . However it seems today that those ideas have become "diminished". The united States has become a tyranny of Corporate take over and the "unpeople" of today - much like the unpeople of the past - are its victims.
Our History (that of the United States of America) is proving to be no different than that of passed Empires, Dynastys Kingdoms, etc. Those past Government's, violently and hostiley forced their ways (beliefs) upon others.
Eventually the "unpeople" of those Governments prevailed, though unfortunatly not without bloodshed.
Why did the peons rise up and prevail??? Well no likes to be surpressed and eventually will rise-up, and no Government can be successful when the general wellbeing of ALL The People is compromised.

My prediction - regardless of which party wins the presidency - is that "things" will continue to go in the same direction as they have been going for the past 40 plus years. Follow the money.
...UNLESS!!! We the People begin to understand and accept that; "authority does not equal truth" and that a "love of power is destructive to our wellbeing". The self righteous means by which we act and behave are NOT justified by their ends; especially when those means are destructive of anothers immediate and/or future wellbeing.

We must stop pandering to the notion that "corporations are a people and that money is a voice".
Corporations CAN be stopped. Corporations CANNOT exist without Consummers. Consummers tell the market, the market tells the buisness owner, the buisness owner then hires more people to make and sell the product. Corporations are an artificial creation; they only exist and succeed by the power of the consummer and worker.


Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 10 years 23 weeks ago

Unions are for the laborers and the laborers vote for who represents them where their union is concerned. Laborers can't vote for who their CEO bosses are or what their bosses do, so your comment is bunk.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 23 weeks ago

Bunk. Are you saying because I a union member I can't choose who I want my hard earned money to go to. I should at least have the freedom to be wrong.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 23 weeks ago

These truths are self-evident, not so say I. That famous phrase in our Constitution where we hold these truths to be self-evident all men are created equal may need adjustments in its definition.

What does one inherit at the time of birth besides body and mind in good spirit and shape. With a chuckle and a laugh, the reality is a bank account with abundance, or “no account” start zero. Worse in the “Hole mortgaged deep in education” yet to climb out. Or, the popular political hand off in a free fall economic market hot potato dive.

Now from the Republican driven economy by war profiteering, treasury coupon swindling, Bail out derivatives in legislative ear marks so big they fly like a Dumbo the elephant of back door closed door screw ups.

All “chained to al qaeda” in a fear mongering terrorist driven power dive is destroying America. A runway train called the Wahhabi special fronted by the Carlyle group.

Kudos to Mr. Hartmann for having the courage the other day to openly declare the real ownership of Fox News. For me it was more than great. I had no axe to grind with the Republican Party, too, but after reading Gerald Posner’s book “Secrets of the Kingdom” and Russ Baker’s book “Family secrets”, my mind is changed. Today’s Republican mind is not only off message it is completely perverted from our Constitution. So much that America is an open class war that was structured decades ago not just by these politicians but by the educated elite of our current culture and, and influenced by foreign countries. The classical mathematics shows that America is out of balance.

Huge money exchanges via computer numbers are controversy through secret deals by our very treasury using derivatives within securities driven coupon market that has been secret and paid for by the American citizen, via bail out. Our tax dollars helped test their formula.

The suggested mystery is to the tune of hundreds of trillions of dollars in a coupon derivative scandal market by insider banking with the Federal Reserve that reeks of treason.

Simple, lie to the public that is treason.

The Bond trading done within the twin towers was totally wiped out, yet no mainstream media follow up. That was perhaps what Mr. Hartmann can call a redistribution of wealth done in a very, very ugly way. Open door politics, or hold the door open for Al qaeda. Of course redistribution is a natural thing in nature. It’s also inevitable that most man made distributions will balance out.

It is my view that the only real way to know when this is resolved, is when the perpetrators that swindled the treasury, give back or unbundle what they sacked by opening the job market. Or, being greedy find they will lose everything. Typified by a market crash, Grand juries to lose everything and jump out window. Or instead of dealing with the mobs outside shoot themselves in the head. Better yet Hollywood style confessions where Allen Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell openly must confess on open electromagnetic media, I use that expression for the future use if they are not convicted of fraud at least recorded and condemned in history on what they know and what they did.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 10 years 23 weeks ago

The company my husband works for is more subtle (they send flyers to our home, which I think should be illegal), but pushes the rethuglican adgenda.

I think we should be asking how the Koch brothers will know how an employee voted. That is a really terrifying and important question.

My family has been boycotting ALL Koch products for several years--we need more people to jump on the bandwagon and hurt them where it really counts--their wallet.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 23 weeks ago

that are partially true but also rememebr those seniors also have retiremnt accounts as well as social security. i am not talking about age groups i am talking about fair taxation, period. why should someone with taxable income 20k more be able to pay 70%+ less tax then 2 school teachers in teir 50s? and if you quantify the scew imagine if people where all taxed fairly how much more revenue there would be. just saying!!!

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 23 weeks ago

you want to do something fun? go fill out a job application for target. pay carefull attention to the prfiling questions. disturbing to say the least...

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 23 weeks ago

We are taxed when we work. Then taxed when we invest our after tax dollars. Down there they tax you even when you die. What happened to give me liberty or give me death.

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