Fake grassroots group tries to turn back Missouri's minimum wage gains

Senate Bill 10 would change that, reducing wages for tipped employees below the level set by voters in November, and also cutting wages for workers who are under 18 years old.

It’s a ruse that was orchestrated by the restaurant industry to look like it was supported by workers.

Chaisson’s group appears to be a restaurant industry-funded front group connected to Rick Berman, a Washington-based lobbyist and former restaurant industry insider who is the king of fake grassroots organizations. Berman, whose company has advised the Restaurant Workers of America, is famous for setting up such groups to give cover to the industries they represent. It is the “dark money” version of lobbying.

A couple of years back, the Center for Media and Democracy caught Bermon on tape talking to an industry group: “We run all of this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors,” he said. “There is total anonymity. People don’t know who supports us.”

 

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