Thanks to a loophole in Wisconsin state law, Governor Scott Walker is able to raise unlimited amounts of money from out of state donors in order to bombard Wisconsin voters with a massive misinformation campaign. Billionaires like the Koch brothers and other special interest groups, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have contributed to over two-thirds of the $25 million dollars Scott Walker has raised in order to spread misinformation about the Governor’s plan to inflict austerity on Wisconsin workers.
The consequences of Scott Walkers’ proposed austerity plan are already being felt, and have led to an overwhelming pushback from those who realize the harm he is trying to inflict on workers in Wisconsin. Fortunately, a recall effort has been launched with the goal of removing this radical Governor from his position of authority and to to prevent the forced austerity measures that have already contributed to the worst jobs record in the nation. Since taking office, Governor Scott Walker’s failed austerity plan, currently being embraced on a national scale by Paul Ryan and the rest of the GOP, has led to the most job losses anywhere in the country. Under Scott Walker’s watch, over 30,000 jobs have been lost in Wisconsin.
This is where the misinformation and framing comes into play. Scott Walker’s abysmal record of 30,000 job losses is being spun by countless television ads, Fox news appearances, and backing by billionaires to conceal this reality in favor of misinformation that frames Scott Walker as a job-creator, as opposed to a job-cremator. In this fictional framed version of reality created by billionaires like the Koch brothers, Scott Walker is portrayed as protecting working Americans, and somehow having added the same amount of jobs he actually destroyed.
Another tried and true method used in the billionaire-backed war on workers is to “frame” harmful legislation that will strip away people’s rights as laws that will supposedly protect people from abuses of power. This “right to work” law being advocated by radical right-wing Governors across the country is purposely designed to fit that frame. In reality, this law will force people to work-for-less and strip away their rights to fight back (ie, collectively bargain) once this occurs.
The National Right to Work Committee, another right wing group backed by ALEC, recently cited a single question from an 18-page survey conducted by Frank “The Liar” Luntz as proof that union workers support “right to work” legislation. For those who are unaware, Frank Luntz is the consultant/pollster who specializes in the creation and use of deceptive language to convince the general public to vote against their well being by supporting bad legislation. “Here is the question Luntz’ pollsters asked union members across the country…”
Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statement: “Workers should have the right to decide whether to join a union. They should never be forced or coerced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.” Responses to this single survey question was offered as proof that 80% of union members agree that right-to-work is the best policy.
Wait a minute. Notice the obvious deception in trying to convince us that “right to work” literally means forcing someone to join a union. This question is framed in such a way as to practically guarantee the desired response. Responses are then used to justify implementation of radical legislation that destroys the very rights and freedoms the GOP claims to be protecting. It is important to note that this survey by Frank “The Liar” Luntz was commissioned by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, whose motto is “Defending America’s workers from the abuses of compulsory unionism since 1968.” With a slogan like this, no wonder they commissioned a professional liar to make sure their biased “facts” fit the frame.
This “right to work” frame will be endlessly repeated via the right wing echo chamber, just like Scott Walker’s abysmal jobs record, to ensure that as many people in Wisconsin as possible hear this distorted version of reality which suits the needs of special interests and billionaires. If repeated often enough, neuroscience research tells us that many Wisconsin voters will likely reject the facts in favor of the frame, since this is how framing works! For a glimpse of the disastrous effects that work-for-less laws actually have in states where framing efforts were successful, take a look at the research conducted by the Economic Policy Institute.