NFIB

A matrix of corporate money funds small business organization NFIB

Sep 26, 2012

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) styles itself as the “Voice of Small Business,” but it might be better to characterize them as just another megaphone for big business—for the corporate and wealthy elite.

An ALEC Exposed-style website, NFIB Exposed, has popped up to reveal the big corporate money behind NFIB. As noted by the Center for Media & Democracy (CMD), NFIB is bombarding the 2012 election with money and is the lead plaintiff against the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” NFIB Exposed aims to reveal the forces behind the small business organization.

For example, NFIB received $3.7 million from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which overwhelmingly supports Republicans; even though 32% of small business owners identify as Democrat and 29% identify as Independent or other, according to a poll commissioned by American Express OPEN in 2009.

After Crossroads GPS, Donors Trust, a fund set up for rich Republicans, is the next most significant donor, contributing $1.5 million to NFIB (for the 2012 election cycle). Donors Trust also heavily contributes to the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. Indeed, Donors Trust throws big money at a variety of other groups that then contribute money to candidates, lobbies, non-profits and various other forms of legalized bribery.

As Mother Jones reported in July: “Few among the legions of small business owners that it represents will benefit from its lobbying. Only 3 percent of small businesses net more than $250,000 a year, the lowest income that would be affected by Obama’s tax plan. This is one reason why a variety of rival small business groups now accuse the NFIB of doing exactly what it was founded to prevent: selling out small business owners to benefit the rich and powerful.”

“NFIB has spent an unknown, but significant, amount of money and institutional caché fighting common sense proposals to give workers the right to earn sick time,” notes NFIB Exposed. “However, a recent small business survey by NFIB found that providing mandatory sick and family leave was not a critical concern of NFIB members.” NFIB Exposed points to NFIB’s own study, which found that opposition to mandatory family or sick leave ranked 64 out of 75 amongst the organizations concerns.

The strategy here is: use NFIB to hoodwink Americans into believing that the majority of small business owners support the GOP. Indeed, the NFIB is simply a funnel for the wealthy’s money—a place where money can criss-cross in a confusing matrix, and give corporations and wealthy individuals some small business legitimacy.

It’s a smokescreen and NFIB Exposed is certainly helping to lift the veil on the group’s subversive machinations.

(Note the photo above, in which NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner shakes hands with “Guardian of Small Business” Rep. Chip Cravaack, a Minnesota Republican. It pays to have friends in Congress.)

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