Hey Hun, Kyrsten Sinema Has An Exciting Work-From-Home Business Opportunity For You!
There are few things in this world that make any kind of sense. But every so often, everything lines up so perfectly that you immediately exclaim to yourself, "Yes! Of course. How could possibly it be any other way?"
And so it is with the revelation that Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is in cahoots with a whole bunch of multi-level marketing companies who are loading her up with cash, as she is their last great hope in continuing to screw over their legions of #bossbabes and hunbots. Sinema is the lone Democratic senator still fully opposed to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would make it more difficult for these totally-not-pyramid-schemes to classify their workers as "independent contractors."
The political action committee associated with Alticor, the parent entity of the health, home and beauty company Amway, gave $2,500 to the Arizona Democrat in late June, as did the PAC for Isagenix, an Arizona-based business that sells nutrition, wellness and personal care products. Nu Skin Enterprises, another personal care and beauty company, gave $2,500 that month, as did USANA Health Sciences, which sells similar products. In April, Richard Raymond Rogers, the executive chair of Mary Kay, a Texas-based cosmetics company, gave $2,500 to Sinema. Herbalife, which also sells nutritional supplements, gave $2,500 in July. All are affiliated with the Direct Selling Association, a trade group that promotes multilevel marketing.
That is a lot of money for NuSkin, by the way. In 2017, only 473 of their 65,778 active distributors made more than than $2,500. 55,911 of those distributors made nothing. It sure is hard to see why anyone might want to regulate labor practices like that.
Now, you may say, "Oh, these companies donate to lots of politicians," but that is not the case here! Sinema was the only senator to get money from Isagenix and NuSkin PACs, and Utah-based USANA Health Sciences only gave to Sinema, the two senators from their home state, and a Republican PAC. It is, of course, possible that they try but that all of the other senators have blocked them on Facebook and Insta for fear of being invited to any online nail wrap parties.
They are, however, the exception to the rule.
Direct-selling companies have had a presence in Washington that dates back decades. A co-founder of Amway, Richard DeVos, was a major force in the Republican party; his daughter-in-law, Betsy DeVos, herself a big GOP donor, served as the Education secretary under former President Donald Trump. In fact, the small industry's outsized influence on D.C. politics is notable, said William Keep, a professor at the College of New Jersey who has written about multilevel marketing and pyramid schemes. The industry has its own caucus of House lawmakers, known as the Direct Selling Caucus, that lists 40 members as of February and boasts its own super PAC.
What's really concerning is the fact that there are a few people we like on that particular caucus — including Sheila Jackson Lee and Bobby Rush. Perhaps we should send them some notes letting them know of an exciting opportunity to not support an industry that contributes to so much financial ruin.
Sinema's connection to the industry goes beyond the simple enjoyment of seeing workers get screwed over, by the way — her mother, it turns out, was a direct seller herself. It would not surprise us if we discovered that Sinema herself were the proud owner of several pairs of "buttery soft" LulaRoe leggings in a variety of hideous prints.
While it appears she is no longer practicing, it seems worthwhile to note that Sinema was raised in the Church of Latter Day Saints. Why mention this? Because there is a reason Utah is the land of MLMs. These companies specifically target Mormon women and other women who belong to conservative Christian religions. Because while working outside the home is verboten for women in these cultures, having a little side-hustle at home is usually fine. The idea is that they can earn a little extra money for their frequently large families without compromising the tenets of whatever absurdly sexist religious tradition they adhere to, but it rarely works out that way. Still, they're very heavily ingrained in that culture, and rightwing Christian fundamentalist culture is heavily ingrained in many of those businesses.
Were the PRO Act to pass, these MLMs would be forced to treat their "downline" workers as actual employees — meaning that not only would they have to provide them with health insurance, they would actually have to pay their employees with actual money instead of those employees selling their breast milk or mortgaging their homes to pay the MLM in order to buy an absurdly large supply of essential oils that no one wants anyway, because of how essential oils are made of lies and are also occasionally toxic. The businesses would be subject to minimum wage laws and other labor laws that would basically make it impossible for those at the top of the totally-not-a-pyramid to turn a profit. As most MLM hunbots make less than 70 cents an hour, $7.25 an hour would be a pretty hefty pay raise.
The law would also allow for the huns to unionize, thereby creating the plot of the Lifetime movie of my dreams.
This is a good thing. These "businesses" are very clearly predatory. There are so, so many stories online from women who tried to become "boss babes" only to go broke and alienate everyone they've ever known in the process. It's a horrible thing to do to people, and it is, quite frankly, completely bizarre that we have let this go on as long as we have. It's also a good thing — a really good thing — for every other worker out there.
Even Joe Manchin is signing onto the PRO Act, which kinda means it should not even be remotely controversial for anyone. If Sinema refuses after taking this money, it should be clear to one and all that she is not motivated by anything but money and chaos.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse