CEOs leaning on employees to vote Republican seems to be a thing this election cycle, and the oft-villainized Koch brothers, it appears, have no shame getting involved to tell their minions to vote GOP or else.
The Koch brothers are the latest to be exposed as engaging in what appears to be a mild form of voter intimidation, and, last week, we told you the story of Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel and his alarming letter warning employees to vote for Romney if they wanted to keep their jobs.
Siegel’s story is not the only voter intimidation news involving company owners and frightened workers on the block. Siegel also bragged about ensuring McCain voters only voted in the last election, but the Koch brothers only recently were exposed as pressing employees to influence their votes by frightening them into thinking that, should Obama be re-elected, their jobs may be threatened.
Gawker reports that Koch-owned Georgia Pacific “sent a packet” to nearly 50,000 employees last week that included a letter from Koch Industries President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Robertson. Robertson said to employees in part:
“If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.”
In other words? That’s a nice job you’ve got their, comrade. Shame if something happened to it. Hey, wanna see who we want you to vote for?
And, of course, that’s what the company did. Robertson readily admits that the company provided a list of 14 Republican-only candidates endorsed by the workers’ Koch overlords, writing in the letter about a list of “candidates in your state that have been supported by Koch companies or by KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee.”
If this sounds like an attempt to interfere with employee votes, Robertson shrugs off the notion and explains:
“We believe any decision about which candidates to support is-as always-yours and yours alone, based on the factors that are most important to you. Second, we do not support candidates based on their political affiliation.”
Of course not! It’s merely a coincidence that all 14 candidates Koch Industries “suggests” workers support are Republicans.
What do you think of the trend of pressuring employees to vote a certain way based on one’s own interests in the election’s outcome? Do you think actions like those of David Siegel or Koch Industries count as voter intimidation?