Labor News From Our Region
Right-wing steps up pressure campaign on lawmakers with huge TV, radio buy, door-to-door campaign
Front group commits unlimited funds to deception campaign
The right-wing has stepped up its pressure on Missouri legislators leading up to the Sept. 16 attempt to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the right-to-work bill the Republican-controlled House and Senate forced through the last session of the legislature.
In the last few weeks, the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers’ funding and lobbying group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) has:
• Launched a second media buy for over $1 million, focusing on legislative districts where worker-friendly Republicans who voted against RTW live.
• Initiated a door-to-door contact program leaving door hangers loaded with false propaganda. Using hired help, this alone has to cost AFP six figures.
• Began a handbilling campaign wherever crowds gather, again at a major expense to AFP.
• Began a direct mail effort sending deceptive flyers into homes in their targeted districts.
• Relocated AFP’s chief executive officer, Luke Hilgemann, to Missouri to run the campaign. He is so full of himself and their outlook that he tweeted, “Enroute to Missouri to help their legislative leaders see the value of expanding workplace freedom.” (Interpretation: I’m going to Missouri to spread enough false information about the true nature of right-to-work to hoodwink the public and pressure/threaten state legislators into changing their vote.)
This is all on top of AFP’s previous $196,000 media campaign initiated several weeks ago in targeted Republican districts.
In response, Preserve Middle Class MO has made a more limited radio and TV buy in selected districts to counter the negative propaganda drive. Not having the deep pockets of the Koch Brothers and other right-wing funders, the group’s financial ability to make an equal media buy is limited.
“It’s clear that the right-wing has all the money they need from the Koch Brothers funded, phony Americans For Prosperity to try and sway honest, worker-friendly Republicans and maybe even some Democrats into changing their votes at the override session,” said Pat White, St. Louis Labor Council president.
“They’ve come this far, they are determined, at any cost, to finish the job of destroying the wages and economy of Missouri for working families – not just union families, but ALL families who will be negatively impacted by the outcome of the Sept. 16 veto session,” White said.