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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/25/12

Corporate Bullies Strong Arming The Vote

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It's funny how life works.   I never thought working for David Siegel would bring me to writing this article.   I read in OpEdNews about all the corporate execs contacted by Mitt Romney who encouraged them to "suggest" (I say warn) what's at stake in this election if President Obama is reelected.   He went on to tell them that he realized it's not illegal to guide their employees on how they should vote.


David Siegel owns Westgate Resorts, mainly in Florida, but in Las Vegas and Missouri.   I read that he went on CNBC to talk about the fact that he sent out a letter to his 7,000 employees to let them know if the President is reelected he might have to fire them.   This perked my interest because when I worked at Westgate in NV in 2003 & 04, he did the same thing with regard to Senator Kerry's campaign for the Presidency.   This is a man who took a pretty good loss during the crash; however now he not only still has his company but also built the largest (supposedly) house in the country in FL.   Obviously he has nothing to complain about President Obama's term, but here's another greedy person for whom enough is never enough.


What's ironic about him saying he would have to fire us is the fact we were "independent contractors" who were paid only if we made a sale.   We had no benefits; and we had to report our own income, social security taxes, etc.   If for some reason a customer cancelled the sale, we had to pay back the commission, along with any expenses incurred during the sale such as the mandatory tip to the limo drivers who took new owners back to their hotels.   We didn't get notified about the cancellation; all of a sudden we had a check for a negative or no check at all.


So let's recap"he made money, regardless of what happened, and we basically worked at no cost to him. So who was he threatening to fire: unpaid "employees" with no benefits? We, after all, had everything to lose and nothing to gain while he profited by overcharging for his properties, maintenance fees, etc. Fortunately for him, Bush was reelected; and we all know what happened after that.   I quit because all of a sudden I went from being a top sales person to trying to sell to people who had no money.   I suppose opening my mouth and saying his practice was election tampering didn't help me; but I've always been willing to stand up for what is right.


I worked for another resort company, Consolidated Resorts, 60 percent owned by a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. They provided benefits at a cost to us of $400/month.   The cost of my health insurance went up after I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.   Again, we were paid on commission only and had to pay back the money if the customer cancelled. I worked for a year after I got sick and had to quit because I couldn't be a "reliable" employee any longer.   Nine months after leaving we were supposed to get the money we had in a reserve account to cover cancellations; however, six months later, Goldman decided to shut down the company. Our company filed for bankruptcy, and we lost everything, including my COBRA benefit.


I worked for that company until the end of 2008, and during that time we were told not to watch the news or read any newspapers so we would be oblivious to what was happening to the financial market while trying to sell to people who had no business buying anything at that time. The corporate "fist" trying to keep all of us in the dark while the financial market was falling apart.   Management made it clear that John McCain would be a great president for us.


This kind of posturing by Corporate America has been going on since before the Bush Administration; but as I've said, it's so blatant now, the CEO's have been going on TV and emails have been made public. Why is this not illegal? Why are the Corporations so worried that President Obama is reelected when they so clearly prospered under his Administration?


These few uber wealthy CEO's or venture capitalists can call themselves whatever they want, but to me they are nothing but opportunistic efficiency experts who have made an obscene amount of money at the expense of others and no remorse for the people whose lives they have ruined.

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I am a passionate believer in fairness for all. I was a teenager in the 1960's, so I suppose my activist days started back then. I've been on disability for almost 4 years with Parkinson's Disease. I've used this time to get involved in progressive (more...)
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