Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Bosses

In the news recently are interesting stories about a new in unethical attempt to influence the vote.  It started with a couple of campaign rallies. It was reported in August that a group of miners were encouraged to go to a rally. The mine was shut down for the rally and as such the miners were not paid.  According to a local radio host several minors emailed and called him saying they felt pressured to attend the rally or that it could reflect negatively on their jobs.  Weeks after, on October 13th, some these miners announced that was false.  It is interesting that this denial came out just a week ago when it has been discussed in the media for some time.  No real comment but just something interesting to note the way facts come out.  So with that said in the past week or two there have been a few other reports of this nature.
Arthur Allen
Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG software, sent an email which states "If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come."  He was telling his employees to vote for Mitt Romney.  The entire email was obtained by Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.  Before you say, yeah MSNBC, please note that it is the actual email is shown and was discussed also by Huffington Post.  Allen is not alone in sending out these warnings.

David Siegel and wife, Jackie
David Siegel, founder of Westside Resorts and builder of the largest home in America,  said in his long email "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 has confirmed the email and also stated it was based on an email used in 2008 by other companies.

David and Charles Koch
According to In These Times, who obtained voting recommendations sent out by the Koch Brothers to 45,000 employees, there was a packet that states employees who do not vote for the recommended candidates could “suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills." They do go on to say of course that each employee makes his own decision but the message is clear and even though the Koch packet states that the recommended candidates are chosen by basis of what they think will do the best job, all the recommended candidates are Republican.

Then there is the report in MLive Michigan that has Richard Lacks, CEO of Lacks Enterprises, who wrote in regard to Obamacare, “As employees, you will receive no additional direct benefit other than you will have to pay for it."  This was followed by , “The talk of additional tax increases by the administration, if re-elected, will have an additional negative impact on the organization. It is always important to remember the more government takes the less there will be available to spread around to the working people of this company."

Sorry couldn't find verified picture of John Hickey and Ray Towles
There was also a report that a group calling itself  Cause of Action filed a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General that two FAA supervisors told people at a departmental meeting to vote for Democrats to keep their jobs because Republicans intend to cut the FAA funding.  This is the actual complaint.

And then there is this  recording of Romney telling members of Small Business Town Hall in June to do exactly what is happening which is to recommend employers tell employees who they would recommend to vote for.  He is very careful to tell them that it is important to discuss their views and the importance of voting regardless of party affiliation. That said, however, Romney is also certainly aware that he is giving advice to a group that was 98 percent Republican.  He is also very aware that a boss may not directly order someone to donate to a campaign or who they will vote for.  The speech carefully follows the letter of the law as do the emails sent out by wealthy employers. That does not make it any less unethical for Democrat or Republican to do this.

The problem is that no boss should tell the employees how to vote.  It smacks of intimidation.  Yeah, I know Labor Unions send out voter recommendations too, but there is a sharp difference between the group who protects workers rights from the guy who signs the pay check telling you who they think would be best to receive an employee's vote.  Voter intimidation must stop.  Whether it is the attempt to suppress the vote, the attempt to scare voters as with billboards, or poll watchers, this must stop.  This is free speech and as you all know with freedom comes responsibility.  A few folks need to be made responsible.