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Billionaire CEO Threatens to Fire Employees if Obama Wins

Scott Keyes
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012
“David Siegel, who owns Florida-based Westgate Resorts, sent an email to all his employees yesterday to discuss the upcoming election.”
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The CEO of a massive timeshare company sent an email about the upcoming election to his employees yesterday, threatening to fire some of them if President Obama wins re-election.

David Siegel, who owns Florida-based Westgate Resorts, sent an email to all his employees yesterday to discuss the upcoming election. “The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job,” Siegel wrote, noting that the company is “the most profitable [it's] ever been.” “What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration.” He went on to say that although he “can’t tell you whom to vote for,” if Obama is re-elected, it would mean “fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.”

Here are a few select paragraphs from the email:

Subject: Message from David SiegelDate:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)From: [David Siegel]To: [All employees]

To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can’t tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn’t interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.

However, let me share a few facts that might help you decide what is in your best interest.

So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. 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. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the “1 percenters” are bad, I’m telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the “1%”; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You can view the email in full here.

Siegel earned national notoriety this year for his quest to build the biggest house in America, “a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles.”

In a bizarre twist, Siegel’s email was modeled after a fake letter that made the rounds on the internet during the last presidential election. He confirmed his own email’s authenticity in a phone call to Gawker, saying that “it speaks the truth” and gives employees “something to think about when they go to the polls.”

ThinkProgress reached out to Siegel for comment, but no response was given.



Author pic
ABOUT Scott Keyes

Scott Keyes is an investigative researcher for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Scott went to school at Stanford University where he received his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Sociology. He has appeared on MSNBC and TBD Newstalk TV and been a guest on many radio shows. His writing has been published by The Atlantic, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott comes to DC from southwest Ohio, a state very near and dear to his heart.

Why are rich people so

Why are rich people so concerned about taxes?!

I bet they wouldn't even notice if their taxes went up.

Great example of how the 1%

Great example of how the 1% controls the 99% with fear mongering. As the workers tire of being exploited there will be more organizing. The pendulum is ready for a direction change. Occupy the Billionaires' mansions.

Why would anyone listen to a

Why would anyone listen to a billionaire whose favorite chair is some relic painted with "gold" paint anyone could buy from Home Depot?

If the 1% are the "job

If the 1% are the "job creators", why aren't they creating jobs? Taxes are low. they have no excuse, except that they want to squirrel their money away in overseas tax shelters.

This guy should be charged

This guy should be charged with vote tampering. If it is illegal to buy votes, isn't this just as illegal??
I mean he's attempting to "buy" his employees' votes, paying them with their jobs. And why isn't he facing vote tampering charges?

The piper is going to demand

The piper is going to demand his pay in Jan 2013 regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Picture Wile E. Coyote floating in air just before he starts to plumet to the ground. That is what the global economy is doing right now waiting to go crashing. This Jackwagon knows it. He will get rid of these people anyway so why not push the GOP agenda and get paid when Rmoney wins.

Boris Badenov's picture

Does the "Stand your ground

Does the "Stand your ground Law" apply here?

Isn't this called election

Isn't this called election tampering?

This from the guy who recently built the largest private residence in this country.

Oh! Look at the gilded chair in which he sits. Never mind, he is the king. It's good to be king!

Wondering why a guy with that

Wondering why a guy with that much money would choose to furnish his digs with Idi Amin's old throne when there are so many more attractive seating options available? Maybe it's his special "beheading" throne....
(By the way, Mr. Billionaire guy...I think your fluffy white cat has hopped off the mortal coil. Maybe she meowed Obama at you during a nightmare? At any rate, condolences)

Despicable! The problem with

Despicable! The problem with people like him is they're too arrogant to even realize when they're being asinine.

G_d bless all you folks who

G_d bless all you folks who want to kill off this man's free speech.

"Dust off the guillotine. Is the world a better place with or without these people? "
Progressive Liberals know the answer, and it is: "Off with their heads!"
Free Speech! Freedom now!... For Everyone!
.... except of course the people we don't like.

Well, they say that people get the government they deserve; given that, I wonder if any old dictators have been reincarnated for your political pleasure.

Seriously people, don't you realize what you've been writing here?
I'm ashamed, and you ought to be too.

What a jerk! Isn't there a

What a jerk! Isn't there a law against this? If not, there should be.

Dust off the guillotine. Is

Dust off the guillotine. Is the world a better place with or without these people? 8000 employees, millions devistated by the downturn. Greed at its worst, now influence the vote. Not even the 1% look at their tax return to see if they will employ more workers, if the middle class has money he makes money. Give the money to the middle class and the economy recovers. Where are their heads. If you don't start taking care of the regular joes and stop calling us lazy because we are not workaholics and have a life other than work, you will be brought down, electric walls and all. They have an addicts attitude and think they are successful normal people, addiction is a disease and you are sick. The American Dream was lost when large corporations influence politics and the citizens are ill informed. We are at the bottom of the pile in the 20 industrialized nations for upward mobility. It means if you work hard like he did you do not get to the top, you make people like him rich. The 8000 he threatened needs to quit and work somewhere else. There are lots of call centres that will hire them. Who leads who. Said enough. Dust off the guillotine, the number of hungry people America is rising, we have had enough.

Actually many in the 47% are

Actually many in the 47% are workaholics. They are working 2, 3, and even 4 part-time jobs to make ends meet. It is not their fault that the best they can get is minimum wage and part-time. These people have no other life other than going to work and looking for a better job that will pay the bills. I am not sure why you are all excited about call centers, which for the most part are NOT in the US, and typically pay minimum wage. Yes, it's a job, but not one you can live on.

I do agree that we are getting to the point where a critical mass of people will be fed up with the greedy FU Captialism and will demand their fair share.

The Tree of Liberty does need to be watered from time to time. I think that time is coming soon.

Only two words are needed:

Only two words are needed: arrogant asshole.

Very good choice!

Very good choice!

If you work for Westgate,

If you work for Westgate, please, PLEASE vote for the candidate YOU want to vote for, not for the candidate your #$$hat of a boss is coercing you to vote for. He, indeed, has a right to say what he thinks, though, you know and he knows, in this case, he's seriously abusing that right and his authority as an employer.

Please vote. Vote for your favorite candidate, not his. And yes, if you think Mr. Romney is the correct choice, please vote for him. Just don't do it because your despicable boss is telling you to.

Somehow, I have to say, I'm not surprised that a person who has made millions through the questionable, barely legal industry of timeshares would abuse his right to speak, in this way.

Dust off the guillotine. Is

Dust off the guillotine. Is the world a better place with or without these people? 8000 employees, millions devistated by the downturn. Greed at its worst, now influence the vote. Not even the 1% look at their tax return to see if they will employ more workers, if the middle class has money he makes money. Give the money to the middle class and the economy recovers. Where are their heads. If you don't start taking care of the regular joes and stop calling us lazy because we are not workaholics and have a life other than work, you will be brought down, electric walls and all. They have an addicts attitude and think they are successful normal people, addiction is a disease and you are sick. The American Dream was lost when large corporations influence politics and the citizens are ill informed. We are at the bottom of the pile in the 20 industrialized nations for upward mobility. It means if you work hard like he did you do not get to the top, you make people like him rich. The 8000 he threatened needs to quit and work somewhere else. There are lots of call centres that will hire them. Who leads who. Said enough. Dust off the guillotine, the number of hungry people America is rising, we have had enough.

Great reason why we need a

Great reason why we need a wealth tax. Tax income and they threaten to sit on their US assets and keep people from using them to earn a living. Tax wealth instead and they are forced to hire people in order to make profits to make up for the tax. They also can't run from it, so would be forced ultimately to sell the asset if they can't come up with a good use for the asset, creating more of a buyer's market and opportunity for more people and promoting competition.

Note that inflation is different than a wealth tax in at least two ways. A wealth tax can be a bit progressive or have countering deductions (ie, taylored to what society wants to promote). Also, non-dollar assets (like land) do not lose value with inflation in the same way the dollar does and are frequently buoyed and go up in (dollar) value with inflation. So, inflation is crude and affects the poor as well.

Keep in mind that the billionaire is not morally entitled to a government-force mechanism to preserve their asset control (exclusivity) any more than most people are entitled to demand individualism and volunteerism, that each person enforce their claims as they are able and/or negotiate on a voluntary basis with those passing by who also wish to use the land/asset. If voluntary negotiations or fight-for-yourself were required instead of government decree (which is based on title chain going back to when government took land from native Americans), the wealthiest stand to lose the most to the wider population. They truly are underpaying for this particular privilege (and others).

Keep in mind there is a real opportunity cost to society if the wealthy are allowed to sit on US assets and keep them idle.

Wealth begets wealth. So wealth should be taxed to represent value (benefit)-costs.

Yes, unlike what the billionaire stated at the end, many job creators do indeed become job destroyers when they decide the going got tough.

We need more even wealth distribution (from fairer taxing and other laws). This way we will have a stronger middle class and more job creators rather than fewer through Romnopoly. With more job creators, there is more opportunity for new entrants and better wages because it becomes more of a worker's market than it currently is, and there is less ability for that small group to hold the economy hostage.

To get a real glimpse of this

To get a real glimpse of this guy, you have to see him in the documentary
"The Queen of Versailles". He's a modern day Billionaire Jed Clampett, with a
hoochie OCD wife + 8 kids and multiple dogs crapping on the marble floors of their Florida mansion. The trips to The McDonald's drive thru in a black stretch limosine, is worth it alone. T-R-A-S-H personified. While he's reinitiated contruction on that monstrosity of a house inspired by Versailles, he threatens to fire his minimum wage employees if Obama is reelected. What a guy!

Perhaps we the 47% need to

Perhaps we the 47% need to avoid his resort at all costs. Unfortunately, that will hurt the workers. Perhaps a little of the treatment Matthew Shephard undeservedly got would be good for this sorry excuse for a human being.

A clear and direct threat to

A clear and direct threat to our democracy......I call these people terrorist.

mnunnunm October 10, 2012

mnunnunm

October 10, 2012 7:54pm
new

I don't think Mr. Siegel is at all worried about the economy under the Obama administration. Being filthy rich, I think he is solely concerned about his taxes, as one would hope he would be, under a continuing Obama administration. His squawking about how he might have to let go employees is amusing, as I would expect being in Florida he employs primarily (illegal?) immigrants as housekeepers/landscapers at rock-bottom wages.

As others have stated in this thread, no one wants to deny a citizen their right to freely establish an enterprise and make it financially successful. Financial success does, however, create responsibility to maintain and protect the system that fosters it, which is one reason why we have taxes. Just as there are community standards measuring other civic responsibilities such as safety and welfare, a literate populace, a well-functioning infrastructure, etc., so our society must also set standards of wealth in terms of what is fair taxation.

A big problem is that even 1% of the population comprises 3 million people, each with the resources of a millionaire and therefore the ability to purchase and/or exert a considerable amount of political influence. No one wants to be taxed, especially rich people. The other 99% of us must find representatives who are courageous enough to stand up to the rich and make them pay their fair share.

The fact is, without forcing the obscenely wealthy to cough up a much more significant percentage of their riches than they currently do, the nation will go bankrupt and, like some mindless viruses destroying their host, the rich will destroy themselves - along with the rest of us.

Michael Nunn
Traverse City, MI

The Upper Class can be real

The Upper Class can be real jerks.They don't need to work, they don't need the money, but they do like the power to make peoples life miserable.
Sad,

The performance of the stock

The performance of the stock market flies in the face of this "job creator." As Romney makes gains in the polling, it heads down. When Obama gained strength (prior to his good ideas conveyed by a lousy "performance") the market went up. Every Republican President's election has been a 100% indicator of a subsequent recession or worse (at least in my 71 years). It may be counterintuitive, but Republicans are simply bad for business. They forget that any producer, any seller, any distributor of any product or service depends upon the existence and financial health of its/his customers. And if you crush the middle class, there are fewer and fewer customers in the chain. I wil never understand why small businesses spout the "line" of the giants -- who are indiscriminate in their financial predation. If Exxon hurts anyone, it hurts small businesses most. And so on.

Yet the middle class

Yet the middle class continues to vote for people like Mitt Romney. Curious, isn't it?

Yeah he makes more money than

Yeah he makes more money than he ever has under Obama, yet tells his employees he'll have to cut back if he wins.

This guy is a walking contradiction:

"So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t?"

So, let me ask you this: Bush was a business man who understood the economy, and look what happened under Bush. So how is "know the economy" directly linked to "a better economy."

I have an idea. Since the working class and now the middle class, what's left of it, are unimportant to these types of people, why not have a national month off day--where people simply fail to go to work? If workers are so unimportant that they don't deserve healthcare, SS, and other entitlements, then it shouldn't matter if they walk off the job for a month or two.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if we did simply say "ENOUGH" and walked off our jobs, the world economy would crash.

Immediately, the working class and middle class begin to sound pretty important to me. In fact I think it would be a lot easier to replace abortions of humanity like this than it would be to replace an entire workforce.

If I received a note like

If I received a note like this from my employer, I'd give notice faster than you can say "pink slip." Like my mother used to say, "I may have to work, but I don't have to work for you."

No, he isn't telling them how

No, he isn't telling them how to vote... He is simply letting them know that, until morale improves, the beatings WILL continue...

This guy is a pompous Asshole

This guy is a pompous Asshole that thinks he can't be brought down. One good Class-Action could ruin him. I wonder how he is going to make any money without employees?

It's clear that Mr. Siegel

It's clear that Mr. Siegel has drunk the kool-aid. I wonder if he got fries with that...after all, these "job creators" need all the fat-of-the-land they can get!...don't they?

This man is nothing but a

This man is nothing but a pompous bully. His employees should walk out on him - he is nothing without them.

Either he's bluffing or his

Either he's bluffing or his employees should be worried about their jobs, regardless of who wins. Because demand is the only true job creator, and employers don't hire or retain more people than they need to meet demand. If this employer is suggesting that demand will remain the same, but he can shed jobs, then you bet your bottom dollar, that's exactly what he'll do. This guy's email is PROOF that some of the 1% really do stink!

Has anyone enlightened this

Has anyone enlightened this air-head -David Siegel, that tax rates are at the lowest they have been since the 80's??? certainly since Reagan when taxes were around 14%.
This goes to show you the right wing mentality and the disease they develop when watching Fox (so called) News. It's worse than amnesia, and dementia combined.
Can't think of a good name off the cuff, but someone surely will soon.
This guy probably thinks his shit doesn't stink!! I'd hate being around him.

In 2010's Ohio election .

In 2010's Ohio election . McDonalds' sent a memo to it's Ohio managers to inform them that if the current Ohio Democrat Governor is re-elected , then there would be NO raises in the future year , and they were to influence employees and people around them ! Fact , it got leaked to Plain Dealer ,( Clevelands award winning newspaper ) . I also quit my last job in part to weekly Republican pep rallys by management that were hate-filled , and absent any fact , and leaving me feeling as though there was no future for anyone that was resilient to the angry mob mentality that they were trying to cultivate there !

afeschyn's picture

Evan at a shameless 90,000

Evan at a shameless 90,000 square ft., Siegel's house may still prove too small for his ego. I feel sorry for his employees no matter who wins the election. If it were as easy to outsource leisure industry jobs as manufacturing, then their jobs would be sent to China too. And the email Mr. Siegel would send out to his employees would read something like, "Hey, it's just business in a globalized world, right? Nothing personal."

Millionaires and billionaires such as Siegel and Romney should not be allowed to get away with paying a lower tax rate because their money comes from investment income. They should pay a minimum rate at least in the mid-30s (none of the 15% or less BS) and probably a much higher rate. And people wonder why we have such a large national debt.

Why is it that many Americans

Why is it that many Americans don't see the forest for the trees. The trees are billionaires and 'serious' multimillionaires - $ 100 million and up . It's estimated that there are some 5.000 such people in the U.S. that run the show. The forest is that, together, these guys have a huge influence on the economic and political system which has become an oligarchy. The American democracy has been hijacked by these plutocrats. The American people must get their democracy back by getting rid of these oligarchs. That's absolutely essential...

On the up side, his turn

On the up side, his turn around in fortune (having gone into the crapper thanks to the Bush era) is now allowing him & his child bride to finish that silly ass massive mansion. Perhaps he'll be good enough to hire the folks he fires to work as servants. He apparently already views them as such...

Here's a ceo who admits his

Here's a ceo who admits his company has made money...under Obama, yet he doesn't want Obama to win?....Is that pi ss on my foot or is it rain???

We're in a drought, it hasn't

We're in a drought, it hasn't rained in weeks.

In the interest of accuracy

In the interest of accuracy and fairness:

1. It is inaccurate to say he threatened to fire employees for how they vote. All he said was that he believes Obama is worse for the economy than Romney and if Obama is reelected economic conditions may force layoffs.

2. Fairness: I am a strict civil libertarianism. I support not only de jure freedom of speech (the 1st Amendment) but also de facto freedom of speech. While governmental coercion is worse than private sector coercion, both have the practical effect of strangling debate and civic discussion. I do wish both liberals and conservatives would show a more evenhanded concern about this matter. In particular I hope I do not offend when I remind the readers of Nation of Change that:

(a) Ross Perot was featured on tv ads when David Duke was in a run-off for some kind of statewide race in Louisiana. Unlike the ass featured in Mr. Keyes' article Perot explicitly threatened to close down businesses in Louisiana and cost people their jobs if they voted for Duke. I don't recall any liberal but me expressing any concern about this blatant bullying.

(b) There exists a whole panoply of organization which purport to speak for liberals, multiculturalists and the Left which engage 24/7 in trying to financially and socially ruin people who express ideas with which they disagree. Specifically, the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai Brith and (even more so) the Southern Poverty Law Center do this.

The SPLC flies its employees around the country trying to get professors fired from their jobs, trying to shut down the businesses of people it regards as "thought criminals." It cleverly avoids makings its mccarthyite tactics easily spotted by avoiding the words "guilt by association" and using its own term "linked."

Decent liberals should have nothing to do with either organization and should take pains to denounce them and their methods. To their credit "The Progressive", "The Atlantic Monthly" and the founder of Habitat for Humanity have done so. But most outlets and prominent people have not. Both The New York Times and NPR's "All Things Considered" regularly liaise with the SPLC and champion its "intelligence gathering" and "bigotry fighting."

The marxists in the ranks of the Left will not be morally troubled by the unfairness and inconsistency of denouncing mccarthyism while simultaneously supporting the SPLC. But those of us who are sort of "old believer" civil libertarianism and adhere to a moral philosophy of fairness and open debate should make it clear that we want nothing to do with the SPLC and other groups like it.

William Morris Resurrectus

But he admits he made money

But he admits he made money under Obama.

Here's what he's worried

Here's what he's worried about: It's not that his company won't continue to make money under Obama. He's concerned that if Obama is re-elected, he may have to pay more of his money in taxes and his lavish lifestyle may have to be put in check. I weep for him.....NOT!!

There was a documentary made

There was a documentary made on this guy and his wife while building their "Versailles". Supposedly struggling with the recession while the trophy wife goes on shopping sprees -SUV's stuffed with toys, fur coats, designer gowns. Watch here:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/thequeenofversailles/

First rule, people can be

First rule, people can be only as crazy as they can afford to be. Second rule, and I guarantee it: If Romney becomes President, he will institute mass layoffs anyway. Romney's presidency will embolden him more, knowing and having the full awareness that the concerns of Labor will have no role in his Administration. Finally, who could believe someone could be so arrogant and selfish? Isn't this illegal as well?

Detroit here . . . struggling

Detroit here . . . struggling in the same tough times as the rest of the nation -- where good paying jobs and the right to work are cherished, where employers and employees understand that compromise and mutual respect are what builds a strong economy -- no matter who is in the White House. Never forget Henry Ford paying a living wage to workers so they could buy the cars they made. Mr Siegel has a hilarious personal life, which, apparently, he can afford. Last year, I saw a TV video of his wife strolling through their unfinished, overglitzed shopping mall sized home -- unfinished because they couldn't quite afford it at that time. Let's hope he's found a way to finish the place by now. And YES, even in Florida, an at will employment state, threatening/intimidating workers is against the conscience of America, probably against the law, and sure as hell will wake up the ACLU. Mr Siegel's ancesters were not to the palace born. Very likely, they worked hard, struggled against tyranny and succeeded through adversity to achieve their measure of success. Mr Siegel's success is enough to stir all of us to try harder and to believe in this country's future. Shame, Mr Siegel, shame . . . for your lack of humanity. You give money-grubbing billionaires a bad name.

Oh sure the economy had been

Oh sure the economy had been tough on his business, he is in danger of going from a billionaire to a multimillionaire ... oh such despair!

Putting loyal employees out on the street so he can maintain his disgustingly lavish lifestyle and then claim: "While the media wants to tell you to believe the “1 percenters” are bad, I’m telling you they are not."

" While the media wants to

" While the media wants to tell you to believe the “1 percenters” are bad, I’m telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the “1%”; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country." BULLSH!T! If the 1& really were making all these jobs do you really think we would be in the mess we're in? The problem with the 1% (aside from the fact that they refuse to pay their fair share) is that they send jobs overseas so they can pay as little as humanly possible. This guy needs to have his entire company walk out on him. Wish they could but, because of greedy bast!@ds like him, they can't. People like this guy are the main reason things are as bad as they are right now.

You don't have to read David

You don't have to read David Siegel's email to know that he is a first class jerk. All you have to do is look at his photo. Get that image? Gold throne? This is the same guy who built a home to rival Versailles.

Siegel best keep in mind that French royalty went to the guillotine.

He is welcome to his opinion about the state of the economy under Obama, but not his own facts. Obama came into office when the banks were in danger of closing, the auto makers were bankrupt and millions were unemployed. Since that time more than 100,000 jobs per month have been added, the unemployment rate is lower than anytime in six years, the banks and auto industry were saved, the housing market is on the way back and the stock market is on a roll at twice the value it was when Bush left office.

Dear David; Your insular

Dear David;
Your insular silliness is surpassed only by your arrogance.
Permit me to give you "something to think about"....
"Those who the gods would destroy, they first make proud".

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