A different kind of voter intimidation: Threatening job security
Voter intimidation is looking to be a hot topic heading into the 2012 election. Our friends at Common Cause and Demos have looked at the threats to voters across the country, particularly threats to people of color in urban areas.
However, what if your job was on the line? Would you reconsider your voting choices if you might lose your job over the outcome?
It seems to be a tactic that owners and CEOs of large corporations are using to get their employees to vote for certain candidates. Here’s one from Koch Industries president and CEO David Robertson:
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. … It is essential that we are all informed and educated voters. Our future depends on it.
The email from Koch Industries also included a list of Koch-endorsed candidates, including Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The Koch brothers have been major contributors to the Republican Party and conservative causes in the past, while also harboring big plans for 2012.
Koch Industries’ email to workers is hardly the first, though. David Seigel of Westgate Resorts also told his employees that “[w]hat does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same presidential administration.”
Additionally, Richard Lacks of Lacks Enterprises warned his 2,300 employees that they might receive pay cuts if President Obama is re-elected.
Although the unemployment rate has gone down in recent months, jobs remain scarce, and job security is paramount. Thanks to the secret ballot, employers won’t know exactly for whom their employees have voted, but some executives are willing to pull all the strings possible to make sure the candidates of their choice are elected — even if it means threatening those who keep their profits coming.