Alec MacGillis, The New Republic
Submitted by: Editor
Robert Murray As Conservative Kingpin
The first question you will be asking yourself is how is such behavior even legal? The fact is that as long as whatever pressure an employer puts on his employees doesn't outwardly look like "arm twisting" he can do as he pleases.
Robert Murray is vehemently anti-Obama, which is to say he's against anything that stands in the way of his profits. He's been a viscious crtiic of mining regulations, EPA standards, and Democratic postiions on the Environment. He has spent millions supporting Republican candidates through his own PAC and it turns out that his employees are surisingly generous too.
Not twisting arms:
[The New Republic] The pressure to give [to conservative candidates] begins as soon as employees enter the company, the Murray sources say. At the time of hiring, supervisors tell employees that they are expected to contribute to the company PAC by automatic payroll deduction—typically 1 percent of their salary, a level confirmed by a 2008 letter to employees from the PAC’s treasurer. (That letter also assures employees that they would not be “disadvantaged” by not giving.) Employees are given a form to sign, explaining that the giving is voluntary. “In the interview . . . I was told that I would be expected to make political contributions—that [Murray] just expected that,” says the first source. “But I was told not to worry about it, because my bonuses would more than make up what I would be asked to contribute.”
No pressure whatsoever:
[The New Republic] The Murray sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, came forward separately. But they painted similar pictures of the fund-raising operation. “There’s a lot of coercion,” says one of them. “I just wanted to work, but you feel this constant pressure that, if you don’t contribute, your job’s at stake. You’re compelled to do this whether you want to or not.” Says the second: “They will give you a call if you’re not giving. . . . It’s expected you give Mr. Murray what he asks for.”
MacGillis goes on to describe in excruciating detail just how much pressure Murray puts on his employees to vote for his candidates. One can only wonder how many other corporate titans employ similar tactics in their efforts to affect the outcome of elections. But the anti-deomocratic nature of this behavior is simply astounding and we have Citizens United to thank for these monsters.
Murray, for his part, is simply a vile, evil, despicable man who hides behind his faith in order to conceal his true god, profit.