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Keyes reports: "The CEO of a massive timeshare company sent an email about the upcoming election to his employees yesterday, threatening to fire some of them if President Obama wins re-election."

CEO David Siegel threatened to fire his employees if Obama wins. (photo: ThinkProgress)
CEO David Siegel threatened to fire his employees if Obama wins. (photo: ThinkProgress)

Billionaire CEO Threatens to Fire Employees If Obama Wins

By Scott Keyes, ThinkProgress

13 October 12


he CEO of a massive timeshare company sent an email about the upcoming election to his employees yesterday, threatening to fire some of them if President Obama wins re-election.

David Siegel, who owns Florida-based Westgate Resorts, sent an email to all his employees yesterday to discuss the upcoming election. "The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job," Siegel wrote, noting that the company is "the most profitable [it's] ever been." "What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration." He went on to say that although he "can't tell you whom to vote for," if Obama is re-elected, it would mean "fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone."

Here are a few select paragraphs from the email:

Subject: Message from David Siegel
Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: [David Siegel]
To: [All employees]
To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.

However, let me share a few facts that might help you decide what is in your best interest.


So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You can view the email in full here.

Siegel earned national notoriety this year for his quest to build the biggest house in America, "a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles."

In a bizarre twist, Siegel's email was modeled after a fake letter that made the rounds on the internet during the last presidential election. He confirmed his own email's authenticity in a phone call to Gawker, saying that "it speaks the truth" and gives employees "something to think about when they go to the polls."

ThinkProgress reached out to Siegel for comment, but no response was given. your social media marketing partner


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It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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+69 # tswhiskers 2012-10-13 14:34
Here is another way in which Conservatives keep the working class under their thumbs and why Reps. are doing their best to disempower unions. Big money interests know their power to control those dependent on paychecks and don't hesitate to use it. Management will probably continue to weaken unions and employees until Americans wake and realize that unions are their only means of gaining parity with management. It looks as if we reliving to some degree the early 20th cent. but without a trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt to protect workers. I hope they wake up in time to regain their strength and power.
+9 # PGreen 2012-10-14 14:55
I hope that those employees-- and others who are similarly threatened-- keep in mind that this is a statement of how little their jobs matter to owners and executive management. Compliance by employees will not result in job security; in fact, a victory for the greedy owners will likely embolden them, resulting in further schemes to enhance profit at worker expense. There will be layoffs and reduced wages for the majority of employees whenever executives and owners feel they can get away with it. Those who are retained will be selected for siding with management and the profit motive, used against worker solidarity and unionization. It is an old trick.
+1 # Christopher Warren 2012-10-16 18:31
Quoting tswhiskers:
Here is another way in which Conservatives keep the working class under their thumbs and why Reps. are doing their best to disempower unions. Big money interests know their power to control those dependent on paychecks and don't hesitate to use it. Management will probably continue to weaken unions and employees until Americans wake and realize that unions are their only means of gaining parity with management. It looks as if we reliving to some degree the early 20th cent. but without a trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt to protect workers. I hope they wake up in time to regain their strength and power.

I wish that some of these self appointed nobility would get a punch in the nose from somebody they didn't know for ANY of the offenses listed in just this article! Sadly, the pain inflicted is usually not fatal by amateurs but focus's the attention of the nose-owner and no Doc, Lawyer or Judge can remove that PAIN and the reality that you deserved it! All your truncated "positions" and other baloney.
And you're thinking, "How many other people did I piss off?
Sadly, it would work!
+75 # pernsey 2012-10-13 18:52
Employer blackmail to vote republican, because some rich bastard is afraid of losing a few bucks. This is sickening!
+59 # Regina 2012-10-13 21:57
Isn't blackmail a prosecutable crime? Oh, yeah, I forgot -- the Republican upper-crust is exempt from prosecution. Think Bush, Cheney, et al.
+35 # Billy Bob 2012-10-14 00:45
It's also a STARK reminder to re-elect President Obama.
+53 # Activista 2012-10-13 20:31
Time to remove the dictators/total itarians like Siegel above.
Would bet that his employees have lousy pay and lousy benefits.
+72 # MEBrowning 2012-10-13 21:35
The golden throne; the dead animal skin; the white, overweight, power-drunk mogul — kinda says it all.
+18 # overanddone 2012-10-14 04:27
google Westgate Resorts bankruptcy
Over 3 million hits,
that kinda says it all and then some.
+22 # RMDC 2012-10-14 06:34
yes, a real psyhopath. Belongs in a mental institution.
+21 # cordleycoit 2012-10-13 22:01
Siegel owns them slaves he can kill them if he wants. That's what it's coming to a job near you. Listen to the wing nuts turn this against all working people. Welcome to the New World Order.
+17 # cafetomo 2012-10-13 22:48
Woo! I'd be getting a resume together. No need waiting for this guy to unzip and trickle down his sense of victimization on the serfdom. Anyone with the self respect of a cockroach will have their application in elsewhere.
+22 # LightWorker 2012-10-13 22:54
This is a sad example of power-corruptio n and the insecure inability of one man to experience the concept of 'enough'. I experienced working for such a man. At the unavoidable end, the sudden parting was shockingly difficult and the unexpected transition was highly challenging. But the overall adjustment led to my spiritual growth and the realization that I deserved better and that the separation was what had to happen. I pray for his employees and hope each does not feel trapped by this man's pathetic ego problems.
+16 # Kasandra 2012-10-13 23:34
What? Another manipulator? Only this one's sitting in his Golden Throne!
+9 # kelly 2012-10-14 10:12
Yeah, I thought about the golden throne and the grand piano in the l symbols of his greatness. And I was reminded of a story I saw on PBS of a little Jewish prisoner the took out of a line in Bergen-Belsen to butler at house inNazi Germany. He said something like "How they strutted about in their Jack boots and glittering metals. Then they would go to sleep and wake up the next morning to have me help them dress and they looked just like the little rats they were. Shapeless, moldless, helpless. Then they got their uniforms and they received their courage was as if a transformation had occurred. Without them they would have been the sniveling know-nothings we knew they were."
This guy reminds of that. Without the throne and the piano this guy is a bloviating fool.
+18 # Billy Bob 2012-10-14 00:29
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-10-14 00:32
Yet another conservative who understands that this election DOES offer us a choice between two DRASTICALLY different visions.

I'd encourage my fellow liberals to take this threat seriously and vote accordingly. A vote for the Green Party isn't going to pose any threat at all to this guy. He might even give you a raise for it.

Clearly President Obama is a far greater threat to him than any 3rd party candidate could pose.

THIS ELECTION IS NOT A "phony choice". This election DOES MATTER.

+15 # hoodwinkednomore 2012-10-14 07:09
I attempted to give you a thumbs up but my wacky computer voted thumbs down mistakenly...Pl ease take 300,000,000 thumbs up from every last one of us for the most succinctly compelling rationale to vote Obama/Biden!
+18 # Billy Bob 2012-10-14 00:47
We're faced with a STARK CHOICE.

Just ask any billionaire who feels threatened.

Just ask any AP news editor who's doing everything in his power to convince us NOT to vote for Obama.

Just ask the right-wing polls like Rasmussen that are trying to cook the books to make it look hopeless.

Just ask all the republican lawyers, legislatures, and judges trying to prevent Democratic votes from being counted or even cast.

Just ask the other billionaires who've just started getting scared and are suddenly pouring millions into Twit's campaign just now in a last-ditch, last minute effort to prevent a 2nd term for the President.

Just ask any retired person who doesn't want to lose his/her Social Security.

Just ask any member of the repug Congress that wanted to do ANYTHING it could to prevent his second term from happening because it knew full well the history of Presidents in their second term and the fact that they become emboldened by the fact that they won't be running again.

Just ask any young person who NEEDS a loan for college.

Just ask any young person who doesn't want to be DRAFTED for the coming war in IRAN that Twit already has in plan for his 1st term in office.

Just ask anyone who's actually invested in the future and will actually be affected by the results of this election.

+24 # Billy Bob 2012-10-14 00:50
I might add that another thing that threatens your job - and ALL of our jobs would be Mitt Romney taking over the White House and enabling the kinds of measures the repugs want, that will completely destroy this economy.
+16 # outthereaswell 2012-10-14 02:32

It is always a true "tell" when someone like Mr. Siegel believes that their employees are too ignorant and dense to understand that in the same breath he says they are doing better than ever in this economy they will do poorly under another Obama term. Of course the painful obvious facts are that they are doing better than ever under the Obama term now; however, another four years of that, and they just could not hold on to that kind of profitability?

The interesting aspect of that is that we do not share equally in the ebb and flow of the economy because when times are good, the owners make profits and the workers are in jeopardy. When times are bad, the owners still make their profits and the workers are diminished wherever possible to allow for those continued profits. There is no equity in risk and reward.

This condescending rationale for the retention of profit for an owner or stockholders is well proven and ludicrous reasoning that the more money they have the more jobs they will create. This argument is no less resplendent today. That is what unprecedented (and admitted) profits coupled with historically huge job losses during a horrible recession documents.

As they say, “If you buy their clearly ridiculous, insulting logic, then there is a piece of swamp land or two to be sold to you”, and guess who will be doing the selling…..
+18 # RLF 2012-10-14 06:17
You do this and it guarantees that the employees will vote for Obama. Psychologically this is a big loser! This guy is typical of the wealthy...they inherit and are dumb as sticks.
+12 # sharsand 2012-10-14 07:23
Simply put--the man is disgusting; he represents how low some in this country have come. This country was the world's last great hope for a true democracy, this was a country that fought the Nazis and won--we thought freedom and democracy would win because we had the most incredible document in the world--the U.S. Constitution, which has now been trashed by a right-wing activist court; and because of this gentlemen and others like him who will lie and buy everyone to have keep and grow their oligarchy, we have lost our way as a nation.
+9 # howard1912 2012-10-14 07:49
To fire his employees over an outcome of an election is totally unfair, stupid, and dangerous to our freedom to vote! How dare he put them on notice because of what the voters in general select as President! There is no way the employees can make the outcome different, we are a nation of people who will vote. They are but a small segment of the population.
+10 # DerProfessor 2012-10-14 08:10
Is that a Fabergé egg in the background? The Tsar of all the Russias has returned to the throne! All you serfs get back to work, and be grateful for any crust we deign to throw you. We own your bodies, we own your souls, and oh yes, we own your votes.
+9 # panhead49 2012-10-14 09:17
a) he's had a great last four years financially so he hates black skin more than green backs; and
b) he's threatening his employees who mostly consist of maids, maintanance workers and sales people that work on commission (he peddles timeshares) who for the most part don't get much in the way of scrutiny when it comes to immigration status (that way you CAN work them like rented mules).

No matter how the election turns out, if he can find cheaper labor he'll hire it. But I'm sure he's been really appreciative of the free publicity given to him and this faltering industry by his elementary school style hissy fit.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-14 10:27
It would be a Big Bird TShirt day tomorrow.
I had to do the bs of timeshare, they are not doing well. If Siegal thinks Romney will help him sell more timeshares, than Siegal is delusional because China will be the only ones going to the four free days of unending bliss is smoke filled, bed bug ridden, roach infested hotels. Sounds great doesn't it?
Remember you are paying for others to sleep in those beds, use those pillows, fart in those chairs. When they leave, housekeeping does clean but they do not Bomb or fumigate. Mold, Mildews are common but dirty people are dirty people.
Stories I heard of what people do on those four day free packages to come listen to an hour or two of spiel, could be where Stephen King gets his ideas.
If you go on these adventures for fun, bring spray cans or bombs, your own pillow is nice but make sure it is in cover. Your clothing, suitcases must be washed and sprayed. Bed Bugs, Roaches are excellent traveling companions true of any hotel and motel in the World. Cost of bringing these creeps home esp bed bugs Not worth it In most cases bed bug infestation is costlier than roaches...healt h, home, beds.
Let this slimeball stay in his own dumps. I hope the workers can find other jobs, tese are base pay. Most of these places who hire us for calling burn us on our bonuses. I used to do it part time, quit when I was not getting my money. these slobs fire people daily for not making quotas
+3 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-14 09:52
What is so different than what the uneducated, unwashed and unshavened are told everyday by Fox "News," CNN, Rush Limbaugh and all of those other millionares? Not only do the 1% control everything in their daily life, but they also control what is going on into their empty heads.
+6 # pianosaurus rex 2012-10-14 10:10
Congratulations Seigel. You just guaranteed that all your employees will vote against your wishes.

Tomorrow morning, Monday October 15th every single employee of this company should give two weeks notice.
+6 # DerProfessor 2012-10-14 10:13
It is fun to mock and ridicule such power-crazy efforts to control employees, but why not hit these billionaires in the wallets, where their (tiny) hearts are kept? Westgate Resorts is a privately owned company, subsidiary of Central Florida Investments. The symbol is WESGP. Don't do business with them. Don't stay at their timeshares, don't buy their t-shirts, and encourage everyone you know to avoid them like leprosy.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-14 10:32
Mr Siegal,

May your hotels be ridden with bed bugs and you, flatulent every time you walk or talk.

To the Employees
Get a real job for real pay, let this slime do the work himself in a flatulant way of course.
I would rather dig holes in Cemetary than work for a Traitor to American Values.

RSN thank you for again showing us what kind of slime the Republicans have endorsing them.

Please forward this to all, get newspapers to be aware. Time we get Media to get a Conscience
+5 # szq5777 2012-10-14 10:35
This kind of mentality is why I hate republicans so much. Romney and Ryan are of the same rotten seed. These vicious, arrogant shitheads need to be cut down to size!
How dare he bully and intimidate his employees! This is suposed to be a "free" country! What a joke! These pompous assholes are ruining our country and our democracy! They think of employees as nothing but expendable serfs! Romney has the same mentality! We are all in trouble if he gets elected.
As a poor person I know that republicans are my enemy!
+3 # davidh7426 2012-10-14 11:10
Everyday that I read about things like this, each day worse than the last...

Don't these selfish morons realise that people will only take so much, eventually ( sooner than they think ) it'll all collapse around their ears, then what will they do.

They've P****d off so many people, it's only a matter of time before people start to act against them, and with the number of guns available it's practically a given that there will be deaths.
+4 # 4yourinformation 2012-10-14 12:26
What a dipshit! The 1% doesn't create jobs...DEMAND of products and services does. If Sieg Heil....excuse me, Siegal was even close to correct on what creates or breaks jobs, there would have been close to ZERO job creation in the 1950 and 60s when top rates were 90%.

What a stupid jerk. I hope all of his employees find new jobs and walk out on his ass. Better yet, I would love it if they started their own hotel, Argentina style.
+1 # RMDC 2012-10-16 04:53
Well said, 4yourinfo.

Billionaires think they make somehing. They don't. workers produce all the wealth. The billionaires steal wealth from workers.
+4 # mari 2012-10-14 12:33
Gee, poor Guy my heart goes out to him. That is so sad, if Obama is elected he will have to fire some of his employees.
Take a look at this Video documentary "The Queen of Versailles" shown at film festivals.
+3 # Jim Rocket 2012-10-14 17:11
This feature-length documentary has been running in Toronto for over 2 months (at a "mainstream" theater, no less). It's quite a piece and Don and his wife are really something. He claims to have insured the election of W. in 2000 but won't say how because he's "not sure it was legal".

While watching it I thought if archeologists from the future want to know how the great American empire collapsed all they need to do is dig up a copy of "Queen of Versailles". Well worth your time.
+3 # RMDC 2012-10-14 17:33
What this dickhead seems not to understand is that all his workers produce every dime of income his company makes. They produce the wealth he enjoys. He steals their production. He is so clueless that he might just fire all his employees and then he will wake up and discover that there is no more money coming in to his company.
+1 # Fraenkel.1 2012-10-15 10:26
The same thing happened the first time Roosevelt ran. May companies threatened to fire their employees if Roosevelt won. he did and they didn't. the rest is history.
+1 # szq5777 2012-10-15 13:10
They didn't have Fox (Fake) News back then eather! Those were the good ol' days!! Our lawmakers actualy cared about the citizens back then.
+1 # JanisL 2012-10-15 22:39
What a first class sleazebag Siegel is! I think we all know what a high-pressure scheme "time-shares" are!! You don't OWN anything! And try getting your money out of a timeshare and getting out from under the maintenance fees! Rots of ruck. Yes, I am sure your business has been "prospering." Ripping folks off, that is. Using coercion to force an employee to vote a certain way OR ELSE I believe is a violation of the Voting Rights Act?????? F.E.C., please investigate this guy!

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