ALEC Jr. — “NFIB uses the name of small business to advance an agenda that helps big corporate interests.”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is becoming a major player in the dark money funding of the 2012 election. Despite its name, the group is a front for a big business, partisan agenda according to a new website, NFIB Exposed.
The group, which is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, is being funded by the usual suspect — Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers — and has lead the Center for Media and Democracy to create NFIBexposed.org in order to educate the public on this group’s actions. According to Rick Poore, owner of a custom screen-printing business in Lincoln, Nebraska with 33 employees:
“Small business owners deserve to have a voice, but NFIB doesn’t speak for me or other small business owners I know. NFIB uses the name of small business to advance an agenda that helps big corporate interests, but actually hurts the interests of real small businesses like mine.”
Included among the group’s state lobbying efforts are attempts to stifle minimum wage laws, prevent paid sick leave, and restrict collective bargaining rights of employees.
On the federal front, the NFIB has lobbied against the Affordable Care Act, environmental restrictions on business, and business tax reform.
98 percent of the NFIB’s PAC contributions on the federal level have gone to Republicans in the last 10 election cycles. They have spent millions this year in Congressional races. As noted by Talking Union, that is a percentage higher than many Far Right-leaning political groups.
Furthermore, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ “Heavy Hitters” donor list, NFIB is ranked third highest among all groups in the percentage of its contributions (93 percent) going to Republican candidates – a higher percentage even than Koch Industries (90 percent), Exxon Mobil (86 percent), and the National Rifle Association (82 percent).
The NFIB’s partisan nature has led Democratic politicians to request an IRS investigation into its charity tax exemption charity. Sounds just like the ALEC situation, doesn’t it?
“Secrecy is not a small business value, nor is it in the interest of political integrity,” Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-7) wrote in a recent letter to the IRS requesting an investigation into NFIB’s tax-exempt status because of the partisan nature of the group’s work. “If NFIB is determined not to say where its money comes from or who its members are, we must ask what the group is hiding.” While the IRS will not confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation, facts indicate that NFIB is the focus of an inquiry.
NFIBexposed hopes to have an impact similar to ALECexposed, a website that has done much to educate the general public about the American Legislative Exchange Council and its agenda. The public must educate itself about groups like the NFIB — essentially a partisan PR machine — if it is interested in bringing integrity back into the electoral and legislative processes.