(David Siegel, above, told employees to vote for Romney or be at risk of losing their job)
According to recent news reports in the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney in a June conference call to the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business told CEOs to tell their employees which Presidential Candidate to vote for. And in a separate telephone town hall with small business owners Romney urged the owners to relay their thoughts on to employees after demagoguing Obama for having an “anti-business” agenda (In These Times).
“I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections,” Romney said.
Boiled down, what Romney is essentially saying is ‘tell your employees to vote for me, otherwise they will lose their job.’
Such activity used to be illegal in the United States and was outlawed after numerous Robber Baron CEOs and company owners used various means to intimidate employees to vote for particular candidates. But, in the 80s, these laws were eroded both by non-enforcement and by numerous conservative judges of anti-union, anti-worker sentiment. The result was that by the 90s many companies were actively involved in mining their employees as a political base to push their agenda in Washington and to elect candidates whom the company board of directors considered favorable to short-term profits.
Voter intimidation, however, didn’t fully return until the Citizen’s United ruling greatly expanded employers rights to bully employees. And, as a result, companies from Bank of America to Koch Industries to Westgate Resorts are issuing letters to employees, threatening their jobs if Obama is elected.
“If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” Siegel, CEO of Westgate (self-styled king shown above) said in a letter telling his workers to vote for Romney. Author Allen, CEO (and petty dictator) of ASG Software in a letter to employees stated “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th … I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”
Ironically, these ridiculous statements come as companies are seeing large growth in profits after Obama’s economic recovery again led the businesses forward. Westgate, in particular, has been very profitable and, despite increased revenues has done little to expand employee roles or increase employee compensation. So most of the profit is going to Siegel himself. Of his employees Siegel stated: “They’re my children and I’m like their Jewish Mother.”