Michael conducts research for Capital Research Center. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a Washington, D.C. public relations firm.
July 1st, 2022 | 21 mins 55 secs
Seventy-five years ago last week, the U.S. Congress overrode Harry Truman’s veto and enacted the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft-Hartley Act. The law corrected imbalances of power among individual employees, employers, and labor unions that had emerged after the passage of the original Wagner Act in 1935 that had culminated in the largest strike wave in American history from 1945 through 1946. The law restricted “secondary” boycotts and strikes targeting “neutral” businesses, authorized the National Labor Relations Board to hold unions accountable for unfair labor practices, and explicitly recognized states’ powers to enact “right to work” laws that prohibit contract provisions requiring payment of union fees as a condition of employment. Joining me to celebrate the legacy of the Taft-Hartley Act and discuss where labor policy might be headed in the future is Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
June 24th, 2022 | 18 mins 10 secs
Since the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a wave of vandalism and arson has hit pro-life advocacy groups and crisis pregnancy centers that promote alternatives to abortion. Claiming responsibility for the attacks is a collective calling itself “Jane’s Revenge.” Joining us to discuss who, or what, Jane’s Revenge might actually be is Kevin Jones, a reporter for Catholic News Agency.
June 17th, 2022 | 23 mins 46 secs
The actions of Big Tech companies—most prominently Twitter and Facebook’s decision to ban then-President Donald Trump from their platforms—have led conservatives to consider invoking anti-trust powers of which they have long been skeptical to crack down on these companies’ power. Joining me today is an advocate of that approach, Jon Schweppe of the American Principles Project, to make the case for an antitrust crackdown on tech companies.
June 10th, 2022 | 23 mins
After teachers unions staked their political positions and the future of public education on keeping schools closed—excuse me, open for virtual learning—and students in masks, a “parents revolt” has erupted nationwide, with parents and their advocates taking a greater interest in schooling issues. Some in the education field have also become alarmed at ideologically charged teaching influenced by critical race theory and the “learning loss” experienced by students as a result of the COVID lockdowns. Covering these and other issues is the website Chalkboard Review; joining me to discuss the project and key issues in education is Tony Kinnett, co-founder and executive director of Chalkboard Review.
June 3rd, 2022 | 16 mins 40 secs
The actions of Big Tech companies—most prominently Twitter and Facebook’s decision to ban then-President Donald Trump from their platforms—have led conservatives to consider invoking anti-trust powers of which they have long been skeptical to crack down on these companies’ power. Joining me today is a skeptic of that approach, Paul Steidler of the Lexington Institute, to discuss the case against an antitrust crackdown on tech companies.
May 27th, 2022 | 21 mins 48 secs
Last year, we had author Stephen Soukup on the podcast to discuss his book The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business. In recent months, “woke capital” has taken a few major hits: heterodox billionaire Elon Musk has bid to purchase Twitter with a promise to expand free speech on the platform, Florida’s state government responded to an intervention in social policy by Disney by stripping it of a special local governance privilege, and Netflix all but told “woke” employees that if they didn’t like the company’s producing content they disagreed with, they could take a hike. We welcome Stephen back to discuss where woke capital is, where he sees it going, and whether this pushback is the start of a trend.
May 20th, 2022 | 20 mins 56 secs
By fighting to keep schools closed—excuse me, open for virtual learning—for a full year in the jurisdictions in which they hold the most power, teachers unions sought to expand their power. Now public-school enrollments are tumbling and evidence is piling up that the school closures harmed students’ mental health and expanded the racial achievement gaps the unions claim to seek to close. Joining me to discuss the teachers unions’ attempts to spin their school closures and her organization’s efforts to counter their influence is Ashley Varner, vice president of communications and federal affairs for the Freedom Foundation.
May 13th, 2022 | 22 mins 59 secs
Hello I’m Michael Watson and this is the InfluenceWatch Podcast. In much of the country, the cops can take your stuff even if they aren’t able to convict you of a crime through a process known as civil asset forfeiture. This week’s guest, Scot Turner, executive director of the advocacy group Eternal Vigilance Action, tried to fix this when he was serving in the Georgia State Legislature; today he joins us to discuss asset forfeiture, how he tried to reform it, and the obstacles to protecting due process and the Fourth Amendment.
May 6th, 2022 | 35 mins 29 secs
Join our host, Mike Watson, as he, Sarah Lee, and Ken Braun discuss the unprecedented SCOTUS leak that happened earlier this week.
April 29th, 2022 | 15 mins 53 secs
Join our host, Mike Watson, as he interviews CRC Investigative Researcher, Parker Thayer, about his latest discovery. It's a leftist group funded by George Soros: Governing For Impact.
April 22nd, 2022 | 20 mins 13 secs
Must Read Alaska writer, Suzanne Downing, joins host Michael Watson on a discussion about Arabella's latest venture with the States Newsroom in the Last Frontier State. Just a reminder to our listeners that as a 501(c)(3), our mission is to investigate those working to influence the public policy process, not weigh in on election outcomes or support or oppose individual candidates.
April 15th, 2022 | 20 mins 28 secs
This week, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index measure of inflation had surged to 8.5 percent year-on-year. Accelerating inflation and surging gas prices have led numerous states to take action to ease the pain, but few have taken the unusual steps Illinois has to ensure the state’s political class gets the credit it thinks it deserves for it by requiring merchants to post notices or include on receipts statements that certain taxes have been suspended. Joining me to discuss Illinois’s recent tax actions and the state’s compulsory advertising for them is Adam Schuster, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
April 8th, 2022 | 27 mins 29 secs
1st amendment, big tech, elon musk, first amendment, free speech, philanthropy, spacex, tesla, twitter
Elon Musk is a mystifying and complex figure. What do you think will happen now that he is the largest single shareholder of Twitter and is on the board? We are wondering, too. Join Mike Watson for a roundtable discussion with Ken Braun and Sarah Lee about tech, Elon Musk, and philanthropy.
April 1st, 2022 | 22 mins 14 secs
We’ve discussed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act on the show before—it’s a laundry list of bad ideas pushed by Big Labor and its allies in Congress that would increase unions’ power to coerce workers into joining and paying dues and increase their power to disrupt national economic and social life. But for supporters of individual employee rights, there is now an alternative model of labor relations reform: The Employee Rights Act, recently re-introduced with an expanded vision of the modern workplace. Joining me to discuss the proposed legislation is Vinnie Vernuccio, president of the Institute for the American Worker.
March 25th, 2022 | 24 mins 23 secs
arabella advisors, demand justice, kbj, ketanji brown jackson, scotus, supreme court
Mike sits down with Hayden Ludwig to discuss the dark money web surrounding Demand Justice and its efforts behind the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the SCOTUS.
March 18th, 2022 | 28 mins 37 secs
Join Mike Watson as he chats with Luke Rosiak, author of Race to the Bottom. They cover how teachers' unions helped erode public education during the spread of COVID-19.