Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.
-George Orwell, 1984
Evidently Koch Industries believes in stopping Thoughtcrime before it starts, by simply laying it down to their employees this way: You Will Vote This Way, Or Else.
Via The Nation:
The Nation obtained the Koch Industries election packet for Washington State—which included a cover letter from its president and COO, David Robertson; a list of Koch-endorsed state and federal candidates; and an issue of the company newsletter, Discovery, full of alarmist right-wing propaganda.
Legal experts interviewed for this story called the blatant corporate politicking highly unusual, although no longer skirting the edge of legality, thanks to last year’s Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which granted free speech rights to corporations.
Here's some of what they said in that "election packet":
As Koch company employees, we have a lot at stake in the upcoming election. Each of us is likely to be affected by the outcome on Nov. 2. That is why, for the first time ever, we are mailing our newest edition of Discovery and several other helpful items to the home address of every U.S. employee.
This Discovery features election-related information about how government decisions affect us, and about the proper role of business in society (creating value). Charles Koch's editorial reminds us why it is the policies and actions of politicians -- not their personalities or political parties -- that matter most. To help set the record straight, we've also included an informative reprint from the Washington Examiner.
For most of you, we've also enclosed a listing of candidates supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, the political action committee for Koch companies. Of course, deciding who to vote for is a decision that is yours and yours alone, based on the factors important to you. Koch and KOCHPAC support candidates we believe will best advance policies that create the economic conditions needed for employees and businesses such as ours to survive and prosper. [Emphasis added]
Well. I guess if I were walking in the shoes of a Koch employee I might be saying to myself, gosh...I guess I'd better vote the way they say or I won't have a job.
And then I'd burn their damn packet and vote the way my conscience dictated. But not all employees are that bold or that engaged, so I'm sure this little mailing had its intended effect.
You should really read the whole packet. It's fairly amazing. The voter card for Washington "recommended" votes for Dino Rossi and Jaime Herrera on the federal side of the ballot and a whole bunch of Republicans on the state side.
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