Big-money consultants fight to kill EFCA, health care

Original source: AFL-CIO Now


Behind the wide and well-funded disinformation campaign against pro-worker policies like the Employee Free Choice Act is a network of corporate funders and high-priced lobbying firms, aimed at distracting and confusing the public and the press on key issues.

At the Center for American Progress’ Wonk Room blog, Pat Garofalo takes a close look at one such consulting firm, DDC, that is whipping up opposition to health insurance reform and the freedom to form unions.

DDC is being paid by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an insurance industry lobbying group, to oppose a public option in health care. It’s also running an anti-Employee Free Choice Act website funded by Koch Industries, an oil company whose ample dollars flow to lobbying, political contributions and a broad array of right-wing organizations with innocuous-sounding names like “Americans for Prosperity” (AFP).

As Garofalo notes:

DDC is hosting the website EFCA-info.org, which is chock-full of misinformation regarding the Employee Free Choice Act (in multiple languages, no less). Though EFCA-info purports to be “a website dedicated to providing visitors with factual and up-to-date information regarding the Employee Free Choice Act,” it spreads various falsehoods about EFCA eliminating the secret ballot or destroying small businesses. And it’s no surprise that the site has this slant, once you look at who keeps it going.

DDC also has been a paid consultant in support of privatizing Social Security and passing the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a deal that did not include enforceable protections for workers’ right to form a union or other core human rights. Garofalo points out that DDC hosts more than 600 websites for a variety of clients, including political spin sites for the insurance industry, the oil industry and the banking industry.

Be wary when you hear about “grassroots” opposition to health reform and Employee Free Choice or see supposedly “informative” websites and front groups attacking workers’ freedom to form unions. All too often, these entities are bought and paid for by the corporate interests who benefit from our broken system.

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