Koch Brothers Tell Employees Voting Obama Might Not Be Good For Business
Every election cycle we get a few stories about private businesses putting out word to employees about who the company thinks would be best to vote for, and every cycle it makes headlines.
I’m not even sure why it’s controversial. After all, labor unions spend a great deal of their time telling its membership which candidates are best to vote for. Why can’t businesses do the same?
As a contentious election season enters its final weeks, a flurry of communication from corporate leaders to rank-and-file workers strongly implies that voting for Obama could imperil their jobs and their financial stability.
Employees of a paper company owned by the outspoken billionaire Koch brothers received a mailing warning that they could “suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills” if they voted for candidates not supported by Koch-owned companies or its political fund-raising arm.
The company also provided workers with a list of those candidates it supports. At the top: Mitt Romney, according to media outlet In These Times, which broke the story. “The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch,” it said.
“This is in no way an attempt to ‘intimidate’ employees,” Greg Guest, senior director of corporate communications at Georgia-Pacific, said in a statement on the site kochfacts.com.
“It’s free speech. On the other hand, while it’s maybe not directly intended to be intimidating, it can be intimidating,” said Izzy Kushner, president of consulting firm HR Impact and president of the Human Resources Association of New York.
The article contains other examples of companies communicating a voting preference to employees, but obviously the much-maligned (by the left) Koch brothers are going to get the most attention.
But, again, what’s so controversial? There’s no evidence here that any employer is going to take action against an employee not voting the right way. With the secret ballot, there’s no way for an employer to really know how an employee votes.
This isn’t about employee intimidation. This is yet another example of how the left wants to shut up political speech by business interests.Tags: free speech, koch brothers