Mitt Romney has been the favored candidate in all reports of CEOs threatening employees in regards to how they vote, and a new video leaked has Romney himself advising business owners to lean on workers to vote a certain way in the coming election.
Voter intimidation as suggested by Mitt Romney in the clip is certainly not unheard of, and it may even not be illegal in the way it was handled by CEOs like David Siegel. But many have found the suggestion made by Romney and others that bosses threaten workers’ jobs in the event Obama is re-elected to be distasteful, as well as an abuse of the power CEOs hold over vulnerable employees in an uncertain economic climate. And to hear those words spoken out loud by a man seeking to represent all Americans as our president is somewhat jarring and upsetting, no matter who you plan to cast your ballot for in November.
In addition to David Siegel, Koch Industries also recently attempted to influence the votes of tens of thousands of their employees by sending out a letter threatening to let many go if Romney isn’t elected in November. But it still comes as a shock to hear the voter intimidation tactics used by people like Siegel and the Kochs suggested by Mitt Romney himself.
In the leaked audio, Romney can be heard at around 26:44 urging business owners to threaten or intimidate workers to vote for him, saying:
“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. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope — I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.”
Thankfully, not all big business guys believe behavior such as that suggested by Romney is ethical or even good business. Good Guy CEO Mark Cuban tweeted in disgust after hearing of Siegel’s threats to employees, saying:
Telling or forcefully suggesting how yr employees should vote is the exact way to create problems among your workers and reduce productivity
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 11, 2012
Still, it is impossible to know the reach of tactics such as those Romney describes in the leaked clip — have you been subject to voter intimidation in the coming election?