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Koch Brothers Send Pro-Romney Mailing To 50,000 Employees, Allegedly 'Stifle Political Speech'

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David Koch (left) and his brother, Charles, allegedly sent out pro-Romney informational packets to 50,000 employees earlier this month
David Koch (left) and his brother, Charles, allegedly sent out pro-Romney informational packets to 50,000 employees earlier this month

David and Charles Koch are "attempting to control their workers' votes" by sending out pro-Romney informational packets and "stifling workplace political speech," In These Times reports.

According to an investigation carried out by the magazine, the Koch brothers allegedly sent out a mailing to 50,000 employees earlier this month offering information as to how to vote in this year's presidential election.

For more on this, read the full report at In These Times.

The Koch brothers have long been known for their conservative political views, and much has already been said about the hundreds of millions of dollars that the pair have donated to right-wing candidates and causes.

Sections from the packet were reproduced on the magazine's website, as well as on that of Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC's Up w/ Chris.

A letter, dated Oct. 1, from Koch Industries president and Chief Operating Officer David Robertson, was included in the mailing. According to In These Times, Robertson wrote:

If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences. ... It is essential that we are all informed and educated voters. Our future depends on it.

According to Up w/ Chris, the packet also included "editorials critical of the Obama administration, written by Charles and David Koch for newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post." A flyer which lists Koch-endorsed candidates was also reportedly enclosed in the packet, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan said to be at the top of the list.

In a statement sent to Up w/ Chris, Rob Tappan, Koch Companies director of external relations, said that the letter was sent "to encourage employees to be informed about and engaged in the political process."

The Koch brothers are not alone in pushing to sway their employees' political views.

In August, The Huffington Post reported that Murray Energy Company allegedly forced hundreds of coal workers in Ohio to give up a day's worth of pay to attend a Romney campaign event. Also in August, Richard Lacks, CEO of Michigan-based Lacks Enterprises, allegedly urged his employees to vote for Romney and warned them in a letter that an Obama re-election could lead to "higher taxes and lower pay."

Then just this week, David Siegel, founder and CEO of giant timeshare company Westgate resorts, came under fire for an "opus-like email" which he allegedly sent out to his employees, "railing against one-percent bashing and arguing that the president’s reelection would threaten" their jobs.

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