Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meet Missouri's greedy billionaires trying to wipe out the middle class

Enemy of workers.
(UPDATES to correct graf 4 with working Senate phone number.)

The family of greedy billionaires behind today's attack on workers in Missouri is just now coming into the light.

The Show-Me-the-Money state's GOP lawmakers are pushing a bill that would make it illegal to honor employees' voluntary request to have their union dues deducted from their paychecks. These extremist politicians have the comfort of knowing there's plenty of campaign money coming to them from Joplin natives David Humphreys, Sarah Humphreys Atkins and Ethelmae Humphreys.

Progress Missouri is exposing the vast contributions to anti-worker causes and candidates by the Humphreys family. They gave millions upon millions in the war on workers, including Missouri politicians, Wisconsin Job-killer Gov. Scott Walker, an anti-worker ballot campaign in Michigan and the Mitt Romney super PAC.

Missourians, you can help fight against today's anti-worker bill, SB 29, by clicking here and sending an email.Or you can call your state senator at 573-751-2000.

Of course every state has a home-grown billionaire who wants to transform it into a feudal serfdom. The Humphreys family are humdingers. Their money comes from TAMKO, makers of building products such as asphalt shingles with the Shadowtone granule blend that adds extra richness and depth. Ethelmae's parents started the company. She is now chairman and son David who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple is CEO.

Listed as a power player in the St. Louis Beacon, David Humphreys says he donates to anti-worker causes to  "support individual liberty and personal responsibility." Because, you know, he's personally responsible for the vast fortune that he inherited.

The Humphreys contribute to dark-money nonprofits, so it's impossible to tell exactly how much they spend. But  Benedict Arnold Charles Koch recognized them for donating "more than a million" to the campaign to destroy the middle class. Progress Missouri outlines some of their contributions.
$510,000 to embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in January 2012 from David Humphreys and Sarah Atkins.

$250,000 to the anti-union “Protecting Michigan Taxpayers” campaign in October 2012 from Ethelmae Humphreys. The campaign opposed Proposal 2, a ballot proposal that would put collective bargaining protections in the Michigan constitution. 
$25,000 to the recount fund of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who supported the contentious law stripping public workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.

Undisclosed support from Ethelmae Humphreys for the Michigan-based Mackinac Center, an overtly anti-union organization.
Major recipients of Humphreys Family money in Missouri include:
$850,000 to Brad Lager, failed candidate for Lieutenant Governor
$452,000 to Peter Kinder, incumbent Lieutenant Governor and failed candidate for Governor
$475,000 to the ShowMe Better Courts ballot committee
$450,000 to Ed Martin, failed candidate for Attorney General
$282,000 to Ed Emery, now in the Senate
$195,000 to Tom Schweich, now State Auditor
$180,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, the primary fundraising body for House Republicans
$150,000 to Shane Schoeller, failed candidate for Secretary of State
$125,000 to Cole McNary, failed candidate for Treasurer
$90,000 to the Missouri Republican Party
$67,500 to Ron Richard, now a driver of anti-worker attacks in the Senate.
Here are some of the other attacks on workers the Humphreys are aiding and abetting, according to ThinkProgress:
Missouri Republicans this month touched off the latest push for a so-called “right-to-work” law, introducing legislation similar to the union-busting laws signed by Republican governors in Indiana and Michigan last year. The right-to-work proposal, which prohibits unions from requiring workers to join, is just one of multiple bills targeting unions that are making their way through the GOP-controlled state legislature. Others would end Missouri’s prevailing wage law and prohibit unions from using dues for political purposes unless workers gave them permission to.