From friends and acquaintances here in the Golden State, I have accumulated anecdotal evidence that public employee unions, particularly the California Teachers Association send multiple e-mails* to their members, often to their government computers, while contacting them regularly telling them how to vote in various elections. In contested partisan races, they almost always “encourage” their members to vote for the Democrat.
Now, Mike Ames and Mike Elk of The Nation magazine are in a lather because, gasp!, Koch Industries has done something similar:
On the eve of the November midterm elections, Koch Industries sent an urgent letter to most of its 50,000 employees advising them on whom to vote for and warning them about the dire consequences to their families, their jobs and their country should they choose to vote otherwise.
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.
This, the left-wing magazine’s editors dub, “Thought Control.” Ben Smith believes the expression, “thought control . . . seems rather strong“:
The mailings don’t ask for feedback from employees or suggest their jobs are dependent on whom they vote for, much less what they think; it seems to give the workers very little credit to imagine that they’ll have their thoughts controlled by this document, as opposed to by the campaign literature they get from candidates or, for some, from their unions.
It would be interesting to compare the language Koch Industries used in its letter to the languages union officials use in theirs. And to compare their vote-getting tactics as well. I’m sure Ames and Elk are already on top of this, working feverishly on just such an article.
(H/t Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner.)
*If you have a copy of — or a link to — such e-mails, could you please forward them to me.