David Siegel: 'I Didn't Try To Intimidate' Employees With Anti-Obama Email

CEO Who Told His Workers To Vote For Obama, Or Else, Says He Wasn't Trying To Intimidate Them

For Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel, telling his employes they’ll lose their jobs if President Obama is reelected isn’t a threat. It’s a fact.

The Florida real estate tycoon, who recently restarted construction on his 90,000 square foot dream home, defended a private memo he sent to his employees telling them he “will have no choice but to reduce the size of [his] company” should Obama win the election come November.

Siegel, who has claimed he is “personally responsible” for getting George W. Bush elected, was criticized for striking fear in the hearts of his workers who may choose to vote for Obama. But he claims the memo wasn't meant to be a threat.

I didn't try to intimidate anybody,” he told WKMG Local 6. Instead it’s simply a matter of preparing his employees for the worst, he later explained to CNBC’S “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo."

“I wanted to inform my employees of what their future would hold if they make the wrong decision,” he said on CNBC. “I wasn’t threatening any of the employees. If they vote for Obama they’re not going to lose their jobs.”

Siegel isn't shy about letting employees go in tough times; in 2009 he laid off some 7,000 workers thanks to “tightening of the banks.”

And he isn't the first CEO to make his political preferences known and not-so-subtly attempt to push them on his workers. Murray Energy Company employees were forced to lose a day’s pay to attend a mandatory Romney rally in August.

"Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend," a Murray Energy Company spokesman later told local news radio WWVA.

Correction: A headline elsewhere on the site misstated the candidate supported by Siegel as President Obama.

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