Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Memo to Open Secrets: Unions are nothing like the Koch brothers

Open Secrets, a voter information group, is aligned with the secretive Koch brothers -- at least according to its own logic.

Open Secrets published a blog post claiming there was only 'one degree of separation' between the carpenters' union and the Koch brothers because they use the same lobbying firm. This is not the first time Open Secrets has bashed unions. The Koch brothers bash unions. So according to Open Secrets' reasoning, Open Secrets is in bed with the Koch brothers.

Open Secrets claims it 'aims to create a more educated voter,' but has yet to educate itself on the role of unions in America. It was union pressure that led to Marian Anderson's historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial 75 years ago. Unions staged the first March on Washington in 1941 and strongly supported Martin Luther King's March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. It was in support of a striking sanitation workers union that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis.

Here is what Martin Luther King said about unions:
The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.
And here is what two researchers from Northwestern and Princeton concluded about unions:
Some particular U.S. membership organizations – especially the AARP and labor unions – do tend to favor the same policies as average citizens.
These are the same researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, who studied the U.S. government's responsiveness to ordinary citizens and found none. They discovered the government responds only to business interests and wealthy people.

Unions are a bulwark against the wealthy and powerful who want to exploit and impoverish the people. Unions have fought and are still fighting for the things the Koch brothers are fighting against: Social Security, unemployment compensation, a living minimum wage, child labor laws, paid overtime, paid sick days, workplace safety and environmental protections.

Here's something else Martin Luther King said:
History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.