10 Super-Hypocritical CEOs Rigging The Election For Romney – And What To Do About It
How do some of the nation’s worst bosses stack up to your boss?
In this last month leading up to the election, nearly a dozen CEOs of large and very profitable corporations have pressured their employees to vote for (and donate to) GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. With the collective dignity of a back-alley loan shark, these men have intimidated employees into backing Romney by threatening their retirement funds, wages, and very jobs if Obama prevails.
It seems nonsensical for these CEOs to vehemently oppose a President whose administration has overseen skyrocketing corporate profits –- a record $824 billion last year, much higher than at any point during the George W. Bush administration. Also, the Dow Jones industrial average has leapt 67.9 percent since Obama took office, a bigger jump than under any Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower.
But no amount of wealth ever seems to be good enough. And, despite representing a very specific, limited slice of America, these chief executives purport to know what’s best for everyone, while pretending to give a flip about increasing your meager take-home pay.
Remarkably, these 10 CEOs are quite similar in ways other than being wealthy and used to getting their way. They also are all male, and all white.
So, here are your top 10 money-lovin’, Obama-hatin’, all-white Republican hypocrites, ranked in ascending order based on levels of hypocrisy and voter intimidation:
#10: Scott D. Farmer, CEO of Cintas
On October 19, Scott Farmer, head of the uniform supply company Cintas, wrote to his company’s 30,000 employees saying that his business was “suffocating” from regulations mandated by health care reform, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Labor Relations Board. He threatened to reduce employees’ “benefits and opportunities” if Obama is re-elected, and attached an “issues guide” to his letter that compared the two candidates, which no doubt read like a Romney campaign flyer.
Hypocrite: Last month, Farmer released a positive Cintas quarterly earnings report, saying that said he is “pleased to report solid revenue growth and a double-digit increase in earnings per share.” So, despite the supposed economic “failures” of the Obama administration, conditions at Cintas are quite positive.
#9: Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG Software Solutions
Also this month, Arthur Allen of ASG Software Solutions sent an email to his employees in 15 major U.S. cities that said: “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th…I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”
About six weeks earlier, on the eve of the Republican convention, Allen sent a different email pressuring employees to give Romney the maximum allowable individual donation ($2,500), and convince their friends and family to vote for Romney.
Hypocrite: Allen’s company currently enjoys revenue of $300 million, up from $114 million in 2001. These figures mustn’t be good enough for him, even though he could afford to acquire five different companies in 2011 under the “anti-business” Obama administration.
#8: Richard Lacks, CEO of Lacks Enterprises
Richard Lacks, head of Michigan-based auto parts company Lacks Enterprises, wrote to his 2,300 employees in early October: “It is important that in November you vote to improve your standard of living and that will be through smaller government and less government.” He also cautioned that Obama’s reelection would result in less money to “spread around to the working people of this company.”
Hypocrite: Not only did Obama’s auto industry bailout save the majority of Lacks’ customer base from going under, but he also commenced building a new $32 million factory this year, a factory subsidized with big incentives from the Michigan Economic and Development Corporation, which received funds from Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
#7: Mike White, CEO of Rite-Hite
Mike White, head of industrial equipment manufacturer Rite-Hite, threatened employees this month with an email that said: “Every Rite-Hite employee in America should understand the personal consequences to them of having our [company’s] tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected.” White also warned that employees would see their contributions to their retirement plans dramatically reduced or eliminated if Obama wins.
Hypocrite: White’s company also received nearly $30,000 in Obama’s stimulus funds. White may be motivated by the profits he’ll earn with Mitt’s plans to increase military spending and adopt a “shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach” to foreign policy. Rite-Hite landed 41 Department of Defense contracts from 2000-2011.
#6: Jack DeWitt, President of Request Foods
Jack DeWitt of Request Foods sent out an October employee newsletter that called the President “a complete failure.” DeWitt encouraged his employees to vote for Romney to create a “better America with less government, less taxes, less regulations, and lower gasoline prices” as well as a “lower number of abortions.”
Hypocrite: Dewitt didn’t mention that Request Foods received $5.5 million in Obama stimulus funds, which allowed him to expand operations with a new water treatment plant. Also, the company saw sales increase from $180 million in 2009 to about $240 million this year, a 33 percent increase under “anti-business” Obama.
#5: Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts
Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn told the Huffington Post in late October that “It would be a complete disaster if Obama wins, which is why I’m urging my employees to vote for Romney.”
Wynn has sent employees a 67-page “2012 Voter Guide,” which endorses an array of conservative Republican candidates. While the guide didn’t explicitly endorse Romney, Wynn employees are crystal clear on which presidential candidate their boss expects them to support.
Hypocrite: Wynn Resorts stock was at 22 cents per share in Q1 2010; today it has quadrupled to over $1 per share under Obama’s recovery.
#4: David & Charles Koch, Owners of Koch Industries
Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries approved a propaganda packet sent this month to more than 30,000 employees of their subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. The cover letter stated that Koch “employees and contractors may suffer the consequences” of Obama’s reelection.
Hypocrites: Koch Industries is worth about $75 billion, up several billion from last year. So the Koch brothers are attacking Obama despite achieving record personal wealth under his administration. In addition, Koch Industries applied for Obamacare subsidies in 2010, despite the Kochs’ public opposition to the Affordable Care Act. The Kochs are backing Romney because they stand to make billions more from Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut package, the environmentally risky Keystone XL pipeline, and a hefty share of regular defense contracts.
#3: Dennis Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts
Dennis Siegel of Westgate Resorts was one of the first CEOs to demand that his 7,000 employees in nine states vote for Romney. He sent a memo to staff that said:
So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself…Whose policies will endanger your job?…If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the ‘1%’…You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Hypocrite: Siegel has seen such positive economic growth under the Obama administration that he has restarted construction on an extravagant Florida home modeled on the Palace of Versailles. His business also expanded to hire 1,500 new employees this year. In July, Siegel told Reuters that Westgate Resorts is “the most profitable we’ve ever been.”
#2: Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy
Robert Murray of Murray Energy presides over one of the largest coal mining operations in the country. He forced his employees to attend a Romney rally without pay and has systematically pressured employees to give money to the Murray Energy political action committee and to Republican candidates hand-picked by the company. Company officials track which employees donate, and which don’t. Sources within the company say that promotions and bonuses depend on compliance with these donation guidelines. Murray also has called climate scientists “frauds.”
Hypocrite: Despite his anti-Obama fervor, Murray was doing well enough to break ground on a huge 14,641 square foot office building in July 2011, more than 2 years into the Obama administration. Murray is likely driven by desire for greater deregulation so he can use riskier mining practices and not be held responsible when people die. This year, he coughed up a settlement of $1.1 million for violating federal mine safety standards in a mine collapse that killed 9 people in 2007.
#1: Mitt Romney, Former Bain CEO and GOP Nominee
Mitt Romney himself tops the list of the most hypocritical rich white CEOs because Romney not only has the most to gain from coercing votes, but he also has encouraged strong-arming votes in the workplace.
Before this deluge of employer-led voter intimidation began, Romney spoke by phone with members of the National Federation of Independent Business, 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…in the upcoming elections…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.
Hypocrite: Romney will say anything to win votes. He claims he “will fight for every good job in America,” even while a company he is heavily invested in is devastating Freeport, Illinois by outsourcing jobs to China for $1-per-hour labor. Outsourcing is how Romney made so much money at Bain Capital, and it’s why his income is still so high. In 2010, it took Romney only about five hours to earn what the average U.S. household makes in one year.
Anything to be elected…last Thursday, Romney lied at a rally when he said that Chrysler/Jeep was shipping American jobs overseas due to Obama’s economic environment. A Chrysler/Jeep rep quickly replied on the company’s blog saying that no American jobs will be lost to China and condemned Romney’s fear-mongering as “unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”
In fact, Chrysler recently reported that it plans to add 1,100 U.S. jobs.
While the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling permits the above-described political harassment, it shouldn’t. The truth is the Citizens United ruling does not protect free speech as much as it allows it to be impinged upon, due to the clear power disparity between management and employees.
Also, when employees and employer are at political odds, the employees must choose between expressing their own values and beliefs, or cow-towing to what their employer wants. Wynn casino employees, for example, told reporters that “If I had an Obama bumper sticker, I’d be scared for my job” and that they are worried about what might happen if they support non-Wynn-approved candidates with “a yard sign, a donation or a blog.”
The bottom line: Liberals like me may try to sway your vote with information and logic, but Republicans can’t win by citing honest facts or presenting their record. To collect enough GOP votes, they must resort to having powerful people bully those who are gullible and/or financially insecure enough to fall in line. While these CEOs do a condescending “Father-knows-best” routine, surely their employees know that their chief executives would outsource their jobs in an instant for cheaper labor elsewhere, and/or cut their wages and benefits to boost profits and drive up stock prices.
So, to anyone out there whose employer has tried to coerce your vote, I ask you to consider this: While voting for Romney may protect your boss’s personal wealth, it certainly won’t guarantee your job, “rising take-home pay,” or your retirement in the long term. In fact, voting for Romney is very likely a vote against your own self interests.
For instance, voting for Romney/Ryan means you won’t have the security of Medicare when you’re old; instead you’ll be stuck paying out of pocket for health care after your voucher runs out. Voting for Romney also means electing someone who has no math-based plan for deficit reduction, and no interest in motivating employers to keep jobs in the U.S.
Take action: Let’s make this most intrusive type of electoral fraud backfire on them Even if you still need the paycheck, stand up to these fools silently. Call their bullshit bluff. Tell these over-privileged, white-collar gangsters that they can’t have your vote. Instead, use your vote to say “I will not be subjugated by you. I refuse to participate in your slow, fascist take-over of America.” (Compare Republican dogma to the 14 principles of fascism.)
Also, consider donating $10 or $20 to help Obama fight misleading ads in these last 9 days, share this post, and – most importantly – commit to go to your early voting location this week.
Want More? Read Booming Housing Recovery Further Dismantles GOP Election Strategy
Follow me: @LiberaLLamp on Twitter – On Facebook
View Liberal Lamp’s archive on this site or Contact the author of this post.