Dear Editor,

Who is behind the deceptively named “workplace freedom” effort in Ohio? You can bet it isn’t workers. These are the wonderful folks who are trying to bring this anti-worker law to the Buckeye State:

Maurice Thompson Executive Director of the 1851 law center is a lawyer who has never been elected to any public office, yet writes laws.

This guy was groomed by the billionaire Koch Brothers through their Charles G. Koch summer fellow program. The 1851 Law Center is the group that tries to repeal school levies, in places like Westerville, OH. This group also pushed Ohio lawmakers to eliminate Ohio’s estate tax in the last budget, which cost our state millions of dollars, while at the same time cutting funding to Ohio’s schools and other programs. Bradley Smith serves as Chairman of the Board for the 1851 Law Center. Mr. Smith, a law professor at Capital University, is the leading advocate in America for allowing the rich to contribute unlimited funds to political candidates. Most Americans feel that the top one percent giving unlimited funds to influence political candidates is corrupt, elitist and undemocratic. But not Mr. Smith, when he was appointed to the Federal Elections Commission, he argued that unlimited campaign spending is simply a form of free speech. Not surprisingly Mr. Smith’s book “Unfree Speech” was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in it’s Citizens United ruling.

If you look a little further to see who is behind this deceitful effort, you also discover Chris Littleton, a spokesperson for the fraudulently named group, “Ohioans for Workplace Freedom”. This guy was also the president of the Cincinnati tea party. Another key figure of this anti-worker group is Bryan Williams, who happens to be the Director of Government Affairs for the Central Ohio Associated Building Contractors. This group supports the repeal of Federal Prevailing Wage laws, which establish guidelines for fair compensation for workers.

Let’s not forget ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is the corporate dating service for legislators who put their names on Bills written by corporations. These Bills are aimed at gouging consumers, busting labor unions, strengthening monopolies, privatizing everything and protecting corporations from lawsuits. In exchange lawmakers get lavish family vacations, and more importantly, introductions to deep pocketed corporate donors like the Koch Brothers, who are also major supporters of this deceptively named “workplace freedom”. The only freedom that so called “workplace freedom” provides, is the freedom that corporations would have to trample Ohio’s working families.

If this so called “workplace freedom” is so good for workers, then why are billionaires, big corporations, lawyers and radical tea party nut jobs the ones who are pushing it, and not workers?


Ben Lofton