Is Tagg Romney Trying to Manipulate the Ohio Vote?

Just days after a former adviser to George Romney accused Mitt of treating voters as ‘targets to be manipulated,’ reports are coming out that Tagg Romney, Mitt’s son, may be directly attempting to manipulate the vote in Ohio.

At age 42, Taggert Romney is one of Mitt’s more visible sons. Also a wealthy investor, Tagg was recently criticized for his dealings with Ponzi scheme investment manager Allen Stanford who has been accused of bilking investors of 8 billion dollars. Tagg has invested in Solarmere Capital, an equity firm previously managed by Stanford who is now serving a 110 year jail sentence. Tagg has also drawn criticism for his recent statement that he would like to punch President Obama.

It is, perhaps, interesting to note that Taggert is also Dagney Taggert’s last name. Dagney is the central character of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. Often seen as a manifesto for the super-rich, Atlas Shrugged divides the world into noble makers and ignoble takers. This simplistic world-view has been used, for generations, by the wealthy to justify their entitlement and has become a cornerstone to an emerging royalist attitude among the well-off.

In any case, The Cleveland Leader and PoliticolNews.com recently reported that Tagg Romney purchased voting machines to be used in the Presidential election for Hamilton County, Ohio. According to PoliticolNews, the purchase was made via Tagg’s Solarmere Capital links and constitutes a major conflict of interest in the current Presidential election. PoliticolNews and others are now calling for a Department of Justice investigation of this activity to ensure no foul play is involved.

In general, the fact that it is even legal for this kind of thing to occur calls into question the integrity of the voting process. A Presidential candidate, the campaign staff, business associates, and family members should be completely outside the voting process lest a conflict of interest and/or severe moral hazard result. Two elections have already called into question the integrity of the United States democratic system. 2000 and 2004 both involved alleged foul play that reduced people’s participation or, potentially, removed votes. Persons alleged to be directly involved in the 2004 voting machine manipulation incident died before they could be questioned in court. Now, in a key battleground where the Republican secretary of State is doing everything he can to suppress the vote, allegations of direct links between voting machines and the Romney family arise. Given the history of past elections, an investigation in order now and not after the election.

Links:

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/19137

http://www.politicolnews.com/tagg-romney-invested-in-ohio-electronic-voting-machines/

Please also sign this petition to have Tagg investigated:

http://www.change.org/petitions/attorney-general-eric-holder-investigate-tagg-romney-owning-voting-machines-in-ohio#

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Mitt Romney to CEOs, Business Owners: Tell Employees How to Vote

(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.”

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