Even afore Democrat Doug Jones’s absurd win in the chase for an Alabama Senate seat, Republicans were worried: There could be a beachcomber of Democratic victories ahead, a backfire adjoin President Donald Trump, in abutting year’s elections. The beachcomber could backpack with it a bulk of pushes for accelerating policies. But the appropriate is girding itself for the fights they see advancing up. One such action could arise over accretion the minimum wage.
One infamous lobbyist, in particular, is already attractive advanced to the battle. Rick Berman, a accumulated lobbyist who specializes in orchestrating adamant accessible affiliation campaigns on account of industry groups, is active mobilizing business groups to go on “offense” with the aim of killing minimum allowance hikes alike afore accessible abutment has been marshaled for a push.
Rick Berman, a accumulated lobbyist, is active mobilizing business groups to go on “offense” with the aim of killing minimum allowance hikes.
Berman afresh catholic to Dallas to angle a $4.6 actor attack to defeat activity reforms that may be championed by a resurgent Democratic Party.
“There will be cogent abrasion in Republican-held accompaniment aldermanic seats in November 2018,” the Berman announcement notes. “The action implications are obvious.” (Berman & Company, the consulting close abaft the pitch, did not initially accommodate a animadversion back contacted by The Intercept. An amend with a account from Rick Berman is below.)
The announcement goes on to agenda the boxy political area for this fight: The accessible is not about against to adopting the angled minimum allowance or blame the federal minimum wage to $15. Indeed, a growing cardinal of arch Democrats accept pushed to accession the minimum wage.
While the affair created a cogent abysm during the aftermost Democratic presidential primary, best chief Democrats accept arise to embrace the $15 minimum allowance championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. In May, a accumulation of Democrats, including aldermanic affair leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arise abutment for legislation that would phase-in a $15 federal minimum allowance by 2024.
“First, we charge an breach bulletin that identifies the accurate victims of absurd allowance mandates,” the announcement says. “Our analysis indicates that back we affix the dots on allowance mandates, the abrogating appulse on adolescence unemployment, and the constant abolition of entry-level jobs, we accomplish a new accessible acquaintance and accord for adolescence ‘victims.’”
The communications account in the angle has band items for media outreach, including assessment columns and belletrist to the editor; television and book advertisements; and abutment for websites run by Berman, including Faces of 15, a armpit featuring businesses allegedly shut bottomward over bounded minimum allowance hikes.
A added allotment of the attack calls for the aliment account industry, a longtime Berman client, to use its apple of influence to accomplish the case that businesses cannot allow greater activity costs. Berman suggests that letters from his accumulation could be displayed on “table top coasters, tray liners, coffee sleeves, etc.” to accomplish abiding “millions” of barter and advisers see the warning.
The campaign would additionally accommodate an accomplishment to apprehend the agitation on adopting the minimum allowance by instead proposing a appropriate low minimum allowance for youth. “A bipartisan accessible is acceptant to lower ‘apprentice’ or ‘intern’ allowance ante for adolescent people,” Berman says in the memo. A lower adolescence allowance would accept the added account of black accomplishment beyond the lath for lower akin employees, the announcement states, adding, “And a ‘youth’ allowance will accept a sobering ripple aftereffect on all access akin allowance rates.”
Berman is acclaimed for ambience up groups that arise as accurate bookish action shops and grassroots organizations that are absolutely fronts for his business clients. Throughout the 1990s, Berman was paid by Philip Morris to downplay the risks of secondhand smoke through one such advanced accumulation alleged the Guest Choice Network. In added contempo years, Berman aloft funds from the alcohol, meat, soda, and candy aliment industry while advancement organizations advised to criticize accessible absorption groups calling for greater adjustment of customer goods. In 2014, a leaked presentation showed Berman calling for oil admiral to support his drive to abuse anti-fossil ammunition activists and to accomplishment animal affections of abhorrence and acrimony to win action campaigns. “You can either win animal or lose pretty,” he said.
Organized activity is Berman’s best constant target. He operates several websites and groups, such as the Center for Abutment Facts, advised to apish abutment leaders and abash Americans from acknowledging activity reforms.
The anti-minimum allowance action for 2018 suggests that Berman hopes to afresh harness a added belly approach.
“Today we charge beneath statistics, and added clear belief that appearance a growing civic crisis that needs to be abhorred by abnegation allowance behavior with adventitious consequence,” the announcement states.
Previous disclosures accept apparent that companies such as Wendy’s, Phillip Morris, Tyson Foods, Cargill, and Coca-Cola have provided banking abutment to Berman.
It’s not the aboriginal time a above restaurant industry adviser has formed to use amusing media and able announcement to abate resurgent activity organizing. In 2014, a former Walmart lobbyist created a accumulation called Worker Center Watch to badinage retail and fast aliment activists agitating for added abode representation and college wages.
“Our time anatomy to get this done is in 2018,” Berman’s announcement claims.
Berman, however, has acclimated a arrangement of tax-exempt nonprofit groups to absorber the identities of his business supporters. The amalgamation of abstracts broadcast to abeyant supporters for the 2018 attack includes a agreement agenda that donors to Berman’s Application Behavior Institute will be accepted anonymity.
Business groups acquisitive to defeat minimum allowance legislation accept a bound befalling to about-face accessible opinion, according to the memo.
“Our time anatomy to get this done is in 2018,” Berman’s announcement claims. “We apprehend a post-2018 acclamation ambiance to embrace a far-left improvement proposing ample activity bazaar interventions. Our befalling is to use the abutting 12 months afore those elections to acquaint and appoint accessible abutment on the growing crisis of adolescence unemployment.”
After advertisement of this piece, a agent for the Application Studies Institute emailed The Intercept a account from Rick Berman: “There’s annihilation in this announcement to our supporters that I wouldn’t say publicly. You don’t charge to booty my chat for it that a $15 minimum allowance is a abhorrent idea; alike economists from the Obama and Clinton administrations accept been analytical of the policy. Contempo analysis from economists at Harvard Business School, amid added institutions, confirms that west-coast abstracts with acute allowance hikes accept larboard advisers abandoned or with beneath hours. My plan for 2018 is to brainwash the accessible about these consequences–and accustomed the application crisis amid adolescent high-school drop-outs who badly charge amateur job opportunities, I’d be crazy not to.”
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