Would you like your paycheck with a side of political opinion?
That's what employees of real estate developer Legendary, Inc. got last week when they found a copy of CEO Peter Bos' filled-out election ballot attached to their paychecks, according to nwfDailyNews.com. Bos also included a two-page letter telling workers that the election is about “selecting people that can determine the direction for the USA" -- and based on his ballot, that means Mitt Romney.
“To date, I have refrained from advising anyone,” he wrote. “However, this election is different. In my opinion, this is the most important election in my lifetime.”
Several employees weren't happy with the memo, sent out just days before Election Day. “Immediately, I thought that was wrong,” one employee told nwfDailyNews.com.
Yet because of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, Bos isn’t breaking any laws. Furthermore, he's far from the only CEO to have attempted to sway his workers in the months leading up to the election. Fellow real estate mogul Dave Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts, may have been one of the first when he emailed employees letting them know that layoffs were likely should Obama win reelection. Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts wasn’t far behind, issuing an entire voting guide to employees favoring the Republican candidate as an Obama victory “would be a complete disaster.”
Indeed, Romney himself encouraged business owners in June to influence how their workers vote. That should help explain all the other examples that have since crept up.
Who else has try to influence their employees? Look here:
The Koch Brothers
The Koch Brothers are known for being outspoken supporters of right-wing politicians. They have <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer">donated millions of dollars</a> to Republican campaigns, and now they are trying to influence votes in a new way: by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/14/koch-romney-brothers-mitt_n_1965366.html">emailing 50,000 of their employees</a> urging them to vote for Romney.
Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegal recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/david-siegel-email-intimidate_n_1957743.html">emailed his employees</a> saying that if Obama wins the election, he will be forced to downsize his company. Siegal insists this statement was <a href="http://www.clickorlando.com/news/David-Siegel-Anti-Obama-email-wasn-t-a-threat-to-employees/-/1637132/16929310/-/5jsbkyz/-/index.html">not a threat</a> and that no employee would be fired for voting for Obama, WKMG Local 6 reports. Pictured: Siegel's famously unfinished mansion.
Jack DeWitt, CEO of frozen food company Request Foods, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/jack-dewitt-mitt-romney_n_2017539.html?1351190686">endorsed Mitt Romney</a> and called President Obama a "complete failure" in his employee newsletter.
Scott Farmer, CEO of uniform manufacturer Cintas, recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/cintas-ceo-scott-farmer-obamacare-email_n_2019292.html">sent an email</a> to his employees saying that if Obama wins the election they may lose their healthcare and even jobs, urging them to vote for Romney.
Brooks Smith, CEO of gift card purveyor Incomm, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/10/romney-fundraising-email-ceo-incomm-brooks-smith">recently forwarded</a> a Romney campaign fundraising email to his staff, Mother Jones reports.
Mike White, the CEO of Rite-Hite, a manufacturer of loading dock equipment, told his employees that they would suffer <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/mike-white-ceo-email_n_2017372.html">"personal consequences</a>" if Obama is reelected.
Richard Lacks, CEO of car-parts manufacturer Lacks Enterprises, recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/lacks-enterprises-ceo-richard-lacks-mitt-romney_n_1947737.html">encouraged his employees</a> to vote for Romney, saying that another Obama term would mean higher taxes and lower wages.
Robert Murray, CEO of coal company Murray Enterprises, not only <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/bob-murray-mitt-romney-miners_n_1940563.html">put pressure on his employees</a> to vote for Romney, but also forced them to give up a day's pay to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/murray-energy-romney_n_1950724.html">attend a Romney rally</a>. The Ohio Democratic Party is <a href="http://ohiodems.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Murray_Energy_Letter11.pdf">planning a criminal investigation.</a>
Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG Software Solutions, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/20/arthur-allen_n_1992370.html">sent an email to employees</a> requesting that they donate to Romney's campaign, arguing that by doing so, his employees would be helping ASG and themselves.