"The 140 billboards warning residents of inner-city neighborhoods in Wisconsin and Ohio that they could go to jail for committing voter fraud are being taken down Monday. The move comes after the private family foundation funding them declined to make its identity known.
Civil rights groups criticized the ads as an attempt to intimidate voters in primarily low-income, minority neighborhoods by associating voting with jail time. The billboards show a large gavel and the text "Voter fraud is a felony! Up to 3 1/2 yrs & $10,000 Fine."
Clear Channel, the company that put up the advertisements, said the foundation funding the signs was mistakenly allowed to remain anonymous when it bought the billboards, a violation of the company's policy against accepting anonymous political ads.
"We reviewed the situation and in light of the fact that these billboards violate our policy of not accepting anonymous political ads, we asked the client how they would prefer to work with us to bring the boards into conformance with our policy," Clear Channel spokesman Jim Cullinan wrote in an email. "The client thought the best solution was to take the boards down, so we're in the process of removing them." [Source]
Hmmm, I smell a rat with a big R.
We might as well get used to money influencing elections. Now that the supremes have declared that corporations are people, big corporations now have carte blanche to fire people who don't vote for the candidate of the corporations choosing.
Mitt Romney, bless his sneaky soul, has been taking advantage of this very issue.
"Newly-discovered audio from a conference call in June captures Mitt Romney asking business owners to urge their employees to vote for him.
Romney, speaking on a call to the very conservative National Federation of Independent Business, tells a group of business owners that they should “make it very clear” how they feel about the candidates. The audio, discovered by In These Times, also captures Romney telling the business owners to “pass… along to your employees” how their jobs might be affected by who wins in November:
I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope — I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well." [Source]
same page with him.
"As a contentious election season enters its final weeks, a flurry of communication from corporate leaders to rank-and-file workers strongly implies that voting for Obama could imperil their jobs and their financial stability.
Employees of a paper company owned by the outspoken billionaire Koch brothers received a mailing warning that they could “suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills" if they voted for candidates not supported by Koch-owned companies or its political fund-raising arm.
The company also provided workers with a list of those candidates it supports. At the top: Mitt Romney, according to media outlet In These Times, which broke the story. “The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch,” it said.
“This is in no way an attempt to ‘intimidate’ employees,” Greg Guest, senior director of corporate communications at Georgia-Pacific, said in a statement on the site kochfacts.com." [Source]
Welcome to the new America, where plutocrats rule the day, and corporations really are people. Oh, and just in case you were wondering if this type of employer employee voter intimidation is legal, in my humble opinion- unless you live in a strong union state like California- it probably is. Employers have free speech rights as well, and many employees (especially in Southern states) are working under "at will" conditions, so yes, your boss can probably suggest that you vote for the candidate of his/her choice in order for you to keep your job.
The good news is,of course, that they can't go in the voting booth with you. Although if you happen to be a person of color living in certain neighborhoods, you might not even make it to the voting booth. If the billboard doesn't stop you, the overzealous poll worker will.
Enjoy the debate.