A recently leaked video shows a pro-business lobbyist working for conservative consultant Frank Luntz‘s firm explaining to state governments how to fight against workplace protections like the $15/hr. minimum wage and paid sick and paternity leave.
VICE News reports that the managing director of the acclaimed pollster firm LuntzGlobal, David Merrit, gave a private webinar to the pro-business board of the Council of State Chambers of Commerce, which is a conglomerate of state-level business leaders.
Merrit discussed how executives can combat public support for changing the minimum wage by steering the conversation towards “creating more jobs” as a reason to keep wages low.
“In response to that strong support for progressive policies, Frank Luntz’s firm told the lobbyists who lead the state chambers how to overcome the empathy of their business members and appear reasonable in trying to defeat these popular policies,” said the Center for Media and Democracy, who released the video.
CMD director Lisa Graves said the recent discovery is “outrageous” and proves that the council “is pushing against policies that its membership actually supports.”
Leaked documents have found that 80 percent of 1,000 executives polled in a recent survey support a minimum wage increase, with 72 percent voicing approval of paid maternity leave, and 73 percent favoring an increase in paid sick time. Additionally, 78 percent want to end “on-call” shifts.
“It’s undeniable that they support the increase,” Merrit said. “And this is universal. If you’re fighting against a minimum wage increase, you’re fighting an uphill battle, because most Americans, even most Republicans, are okay with raising the minimum wage.”
At that point, the presentation focused on the word “empathy,” which appeared in capitalized rainbow-colored letters. Merrit proceeded to give tips on the best way to combat it.
“Where you might find some comfort if you are opposing it in your state is, how big of a priority is it against other priorities?” he said. “Most folks think there are bigger priorities. Creating more jobs rather than raising the minimum wage is a priority that most everyone agrees with. So when you put it up against other issues, you can find other alternatives and other things to focus on.”
Featured image: Frank Luntz (WND)