Some of the GOP's loyal, pro-business supporters have an idea of how to get out the vote against Tea Party challenges to their favored candidates: plug the primaries, and their candidates, to their own employees.
Bloomberg Businessweek took a look at this tactic on Tuesday, leading with the example of a railroad company VP in Georgia. As Businessweek reports, Ben Tarbutton's 30 employees know that the businessman wants them to vote, and who he wants them to vote for: Rep. Jack Kingston. Kingston is running for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. He has six conservative opponents, only one of whom seems to present a formidable challenge, as Slate reported earlier: Secretary of State Karen Handel, who resigned as a Vice President of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation in 2012 after supporting a controversial proposal by the organization to pull all of its funding for services at Planned Parenthood.
Businessweek uncovered parallel examples in other Tuesday primary states, including Kentucky, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Oregon, under the umbrella of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee. In Idaho, for instance, the PAC helped employers in the state with an estimated 94,000 employees working for them come up with ways to turn out the vote for U.S. Representative Mike Simpson, who is facing a Tea Party primary challenge today. The businesses aren't explicitly telling employees how to vote, but it seems as if they're able to make it clear indirectly which candidate supports their interests. The implication, of course, is that a legislator who is good for the employer is good for the employee's job stability.
This isn't a new tactic, in particular for the GOP, but it is perhaps very 2014 midterms to see so much emphasis on it during a intra-party primary. In 2012, Mitt Romney urged the National Federation of Independent Businesses that there was "nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business," and that "I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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