News Release

“Koch Sends Pro-Romney Mailing to Employees While Stifling Workplace Political Speech”

MIKE ELK [email], @mikeelk
Elk just wrote the piece “Koch Sends Pro-Romney Mailing to 45,000 Employees While Stifling Workplace Political Speech” for In These Times where he is a staff writer and regular contributor to the magazines’ “Working” blog.

The new piece states: “In a voter information packet obtained by In These Times, the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president. … Enclosed with the letter was a flyer listing Koch-endorsed candidates, beginning with Romney. …

“The Koch’s in-house campaigning for the GOP is part of a larger trend of corporations exercising new freedoms under Citizens United. The Supreme Court decision overturned previous FEC laws prohibiting employers from expressing electoral opinions directly to their employees.

“Ironically, while the Kochs have been taking advantage of Citizens United to expand political communications to employees, they have also capitalized on weak labor laws to limit the political speech of those employees. …

“In addition to [restrictions on use of social media], Georgia Pacific also demands that workers seek approval from supervisors before running for local elected office or serving on the boards of nonprofits.”