Who’s behind Prop A?

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By TIM ROWDEN

Editor

Why do you think it’s millionaires, dark money groups, out-of-state foundations pushing hardest to make Missouri a RTW state?

Proposition A attacks the freedom of working people to join together to negotiate a fair return on their work by banning union represented businesses from negotiating labor contracts that ensure workers will either pay dues or a smaller “fair share” fee to cover the union’s costs of bargaining and winning a wide variety of benefits, protections for members and families.

Federal law requires union to represent all employees in a bargaining unit, providing them all the services of union membership, whether or not they choose to join the union. Prop A says those employees who choose not to join the union must receive those same services and benefits for free. 

The goal of Prop A, and “right-to-work” (RTW) laws just like it in other states, is to financially starve unions –thereby weakening their ability to negotiate wages and represent workers.

Prop A supporters claim “right-to-work” benefits workers, but that’s simply not true.

Working families make an average of $8,740 a year ($168 less a week; $783 less a month) in RTW states. That doesn’t sound like much of a benefit.

When billionaire CEOs, corporations and dark money PACs spend millions of dollars on pro-RTW lawmakers and deceptive advertising to promote Prop A, you can be sure it’s not for the betterment of workers.

THE MONEY BEHIND PROP A

The groups promoting Prop A include:

• David Humphreys, the CEO of Joplin-based TAMKO Building Products. Humphreys spent millions buying lawmakers, including former governor Eric Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley, to win passage of “right-to-work” and weaken Missouri’s consumer protection law.

• Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) the bill’s sponsor and chair of the House Economic Development Committee, received $175,000 from Humphreys.

• Rep. Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold) received $275,000 from Humphreys to push the legislation through.

• A New Missouri, the dark money PAC formed by former governor Eric Greitens’ campaign staff to promote RTW. Because it was formed as a nonprofit, A New Missouri doesn’t have to reveal its donors. In fact, Greitens resigned rather than reveal them.

However, a cursory review of the organizers behind A New Missouri shows they include Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Michael Adams, a Washington, D.C, attorney and candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State.

Ayers and Adams currently work together for the vice president’s political action committee, and worked at the Republican Governors Association, which donated $13 million to Greitens’ campaign.

According to Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) records, companies associated with Ayers were paid over $23 million in Missouri. Adams’ law firm collected over $80,000.

• Richard Uihlein – the Illinois mega-donor executive behind family-owned Uline packaging company, contributed $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a “right-to-work” (RTW) state.

Uihlein has also contributed to the campaigns of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, disgraced former Missouri governor Greitens and Hawley’s bid for U.S. Senate. Uihlein contributed $360,000 to Greitens’ bid for governor in 2016.

• Freedom to Work – a Kansas City-based PAC formed last year to try to stop the union and worker-backed effort to defeat Prop A. Uihlein contributed at least $500,000 to the group. A New Missouri contributed at least $750,000.

• Missourians for Worker Freedom – another Kansas City based PAC that received at least $350,000 from A New Missouri.

• Liberty Alliance – another Kansas City-based PAC that shares the same address and phone number as Missourians for Worker Freedom.

• American Democracy Alliance – another Kansas City-based PAC. It donated at least $350,000 to Liberty Alliance and $150,000 to Missourians for Worker Freedom

• Herzog Railroad Services, Inc. – based in Joplin, donated at least $100,000 to Liberty Alliance.

• Americans for Prosperity – the Koch Brothers’-funded pro- “right-to-work” advocacy group that has been funding mailers promoting Prop A.

• The National Right to Work Foundation – based in Springfield, VA.

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