Despite the millions upon millions the oligarchs are pouring into their candidate, they're not running away with the election. Courts are pushing back on their voter suppression initiatives, and they're not getting a margin that guarantees their guy the win.
In the battle for control of our country, they're willing to use every weapon at their disposal. Today's weapon of choice is the employee intimidation spray gun.
Over at Koch Industries, a nice little voter pamphlet went out to 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees. Mike Lux found himself in possession of a copy and let us all in on the secret.
The packet arrived in the mailboxes of all 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees earlier this month. The cover letter, by Koch Industries President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Robertson, read:
While we are typically told before each Presidential election that it is important and historic, I believe the upcoming election will determine what kind of America future generations will inherit.
If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then 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.
Enclosed with the letter was a flyer listing Koch-endorsed candidates, beginning with Romney. Robertson’s letter explained: “At the request of many employees, we have also provided a list of candidates in your state that have been supported by Koch companies or by KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee.”
The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch. The letter went on to say, “We believe any decision about which candidates to support is—as always—yours and yours alone, based on the factors that are most important to you. Second, we do not support candidates based on their political affiliation.”
In the flyer sent to Oregon employees, all 14 Koch-backed state candidates were Republicans.
But it isn't only the Koch boys. As Heather posted on Sunday, ASG Software Solutions also sent a threatening letter to its employees saying that their jobs were in jeopardy if they didn't make darn sure Mitt Romney was elected. And Westgate Resorts CEO took similar action.
Here's what you need to know. This is a coordinated effort to force support for Mitt Romney. It's just as obvious as the coal CEO docking his employees and making them contribute to Romney's campaign. There isn't a major corporate presence in this country that Romney hasn't touched or crossed in his Bain Capital dealings, and while he might not be one of the oligarchs, he is most certainly the oligarchs' ideal choice to guard the henhouse and provide the digits on command for signatures on their key legislation.
It doesn't stop with coordinated employee intimidation either. Brad Friedman has another report out that ought to raise the hackles on everyone's neck. It seems that Bain Capital owns a hefty share of a voting machine company. Via The Free Press:
The majority of the directors of Hart come from the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. has been heavily invested in Hart Intercivic since July 2011, just in time for the current presidential election cycle. But who is H.I.G Capital?
Out of 49 partners and directors, 48 are men, and 47 are white. Eleven of these men, including H.I.G. Founder Tony Tamer, were formerly employed at Bain and Company, and two of those men, John P. Bolduc and Douglas Berman are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.
Additionally, four of these men were formerly employed at Booz Allen Hamilton. Bush family friendly Carlyle group is an owner of Booz Allen which also made voting machines for the United States military. Booz Allen was also the key subcontractor for the controversial PioneerGroundbreaker program, an NSA data mining operation that gathered information on American citizens until it was shut down and replaced with even more invasive successor programs like MATRIX and Total Information Awareness.
Awesome. And Brad has more.
Lee Fang at The Nation recently confirmed the FreePress reporting in a story of his own on the "crony capitalism" of Tagg Romney, whose father's money and high-profile connections present a number of troubling corporate conflicts of interest should Mitt Romney become President. Also this week, in a video that has gone a bit viral, The David Pakman Show expressed understandable concerns about Romney's close business partners having this type of corporate control over a large e-voting company whose, extremely vulnerable and insecure [PDF] --- and often 100% unverifiable --- voting and tabulation systems are now used, according to VerifiedVoting.org's database, in all or parts of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. [Pakman's video is embedded below.]
Rule of the oligarchs: If at first you're not succeeding, buy the system and break it.
But I don't write all of this to discourage anyone. Indeed, just the opposite. The only way to overcome their influence is to overwhelm it, and the only way to overwhelm it is by showing up to vote in unprecedented numbers. Because if they succeed, then it really won't matter what happens next. This country will look like Wisconsin after Scott Walker was elected, or Texas, or Rick Scott's Florida. That's what these guys want.
They're restless, and they're hungry, and they can be defeated.
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