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Intro: "Koch Industries sent a letter to most of its 50,000 employees on the eve of the November elections, advising them on whom to vote for and warning them of the dire consequences should they choose to vote otherwise. As a result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling last year, Koch Industries and other corporations are now legally allowed to pressure their workers to adopt their political views."

Billionaire right-wing activist David Koch, 03/08/11. (photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Billionaire right-wing activist David Koch, 03/08/11. (photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+9 # Kayjay 2011-04-21 17:30
Welcome to America, Land of the "free". But don't look now, cause they are starting to build the gulags. Please only if you agree, don't buy Brawny towels.
+7 # Kayjay 2011-04-21 17:41
And brought to you by the United States judicial system. Enjoy your day, your corporate boss thanks you!
+4 # giraffee2012 2011-04-22 01:30
Send this to the Stupremes and somebody should request the Stupremes to repeal that 2010 decision that gave us the "best govt money can buy".

Vote democratic (of, for and by the people) in 2012 -- VOTE --- please do not sit at home bc you are unhappy with ur choices. Let the GOP in and my / your grandchildren will be driving around in pick-up trucks like the Libyans are today (only nobody will be= there wo help them with air strikes, etc)

VOTE 2012 - get our democracy back to 30 years ago.

Get us OUT of wars so the troops can control our borders -- THEN, & only then, make a decision about the illegals in the USA.
0 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2011-04-22 17:05
You need to read, very carefully, the Citizens United decision.

You are reacting to myth, not to anything the decision held. The decision is widely misunderstood and cited all too often as causing myriad evils it could not cause.

As my other comment (see below) observes, Democracy Now was guilty of asserting that the Citizens United decision legalizes extortion, though that assertion is patently false.
+2 # Babette Grunow 2011-04-22 06:01
It is tragic to hear about the journalists' death but I can imagine how it could happen in a situation where who is a combatant and who is a civilian or journalist might be hard to determine. The inserting of Western advisors into the mix must also blur the sense of who is who. I don't mean to let Qaddafi's forces off the hook if they are to blame but I could see how there could be questions in this mess. I could also imagine "friendly fire" so to speak from the ill trained or untrained rebel forces.
+4 # Ken Hall 2011-04-22 10:25
Anyone surprised by this? We need to take to the streets in solidarity with WI and to oppose what will come unless the sleeping Left bestirs itself and makes an appearance. There are a whole lot more of us than them.
+4 # Glen 2011-04-22 12:25
I watched this discussion and interview. Just as when it was announced that drones are now in use in Libya, those of us watching let out a groan - but it was a groan of familiar frustration by now. One must wonder, in spite of all this developing over the years, why there is a sudden flurry of activities that are thrown at us. Sure sure attentive folks are well aware of developments, but the the rapidity of events is accelerating. And the tradgedies.

Citizens who don't keep up will find themselves backed into a corner, which I do believe such as the Koch brothers are doing their best to achieve.
+3 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2011-04-22 14:41
The Democracy Now text asserts: "As a result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling last year, Koch Industries and other corporations are now legally allowed to pressure their workers to adopt their political views."

The assertion is false.

The Citizens United case said nothing that would support such an assertion.

The Koch Industries tactic is a crime of extortion. Extortion is one person's threatening to cause another person harm (in this case, economic harm) if the threatened person does not do an act the threatening person demands, an act beneficial to the threatening person.

The Citizens United case did not legalize extortion.

The Citizens United case held that corporations are entitled to participate in election process and other political processes just as individuals are entitled. Or, put in terms of the specific issue the case decided, the holding was that the first amendment's political speech right applies equally to individuals and associations, including corporate associations and unions.

Individuals are not entitled to commit extortion to further their political objectives. Neither are corporations. Extortion is a crime --- not free speech.

I am very sorry for Amy Goodman's engaging in such wild misrepresentati on. How Republican her conduct.
+2 # Glen 2011-04-25 10:57
Thank you, Loup, for putting this information out there. Wonder why there was not more research by most of us, including Democracy Now.

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