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Right-Wing Connections

Ties to the Extreme Right-Wing

The group’s president, Mark A. Mix, is a member of The Council for National Policy, an organization described by a New York Times columnist as, “a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country…[who meet] behind closed doors at undisclosed locations…[and] strategize about how to turn the country to the right.”23 

Members include:

  • Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority,
  • Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association,
  • Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and the anti-union Alliance for Worker Freedom, and
  • Holland Coors of the Coors beer dynasty.

Former Rep. Tom DeLay once sent a letter for the Foundation seizing on the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, soliciting donations to bolster its cause.  In the letter, DeLay warned, “the union bosses’ selfish drive to use the national emergencies we face today to grab more power, presents a clear-and-present-danger to the security of the United States at home and the safety of our Armed Forces overseas.”24  After an outcry over the letter ensued, DeLay quickly backed away from the letter, saying he had not actually seen it—that the letter had been written by a member of his staff.25

The late Senator Jesse Helms was “a staunch ally” of National Right to Work for 30 years, continuing to send out letters for the Committee even after he retired from office in 2003.26  The Committee claims the infamous Southern conservative helped recruit “hundreds of thousands of new members” during the 1990s and was “instrumental to ongoing efforts to pass national Right to Work legislation.”27

Further, National Right to Work is funded by some of the top, most influential right-wing foundations, including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the John M. Olin Foundation.28  The chart below illustrates the funding National Right to Work receives from these foundations, which also support some of the most prominent right-wing groups. 

Right-Wing Foundation Support
of National Right to Work

Click to enlarge.

What does ‘right-to-work’ mean?

Many are confused by the misleading phrase ‘right-to-work.’  Under a state’s right-to-work law, workers do not have to join the union or pay dues, but are entitled to the full benefits of the union contract.  Unions in these states are required by law to defend non-dues paying members involved in a dispute or charged with a grievance at work, but even those employees do not have to contribute dues.  Such a provision does not give workers more rights, but weakens unions and their ability to bargain for improved benefits and working conditions.  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives the best description of the law: “’right-to-work’…provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ …Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining….”29

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