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11 May 2015

Michelle Conlin & Lucas Iberico Lozada, Reuters (UK)

The new U.S. office politics: funding your boss's political causes

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...[E]mployers are increasingly approaching workers to fundraise, lobby and campaign in ways they never have before, according to a Reuters analysis of FEC filings and data compiled by the Business Industry Political Action Committee... [Since] a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed for unlimited political spending by corporations, the number of companies engaged in this sort of activity - be it nudging employees to write letters, donate, campaign or vote - has risen 45 percent to 7,317, according to BIPAC's internal research...

[Some] companies are attaching perks to the giving.  BP, for example, says employees who donate at least 2.5 percent of their salary to the company PAC get choice parking spots in the company lot... [Some] campaign finance watchdogs...[are concerned] that workers may feel pressure to donate to candidates they do not support or to lobby on issues they don’t agree with... Some employees allege they have suffered retribution as a result of not supporting a CEO's politics [including Murray Energy according to a pending lawsuit; Murray Energy calls the allegations "blatantly false and totally concocted”]. [also refers to Walmart, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Pfizer, Koch Industries]

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