Yesterday’s New York Times story about bosses who tell their employees how to vote (a practice apparently legalized, under the radar, by Citizens United) raises a dilemma.
Critics of the practice, not implausibly, say the goal of the practice is intimidation: while voting is secret, other campaign activities (including donations) are not. Employers naturally deny that. But to the extent that they do, it raises the question: if not intended as threats, why are such communications necessary at all? Why can’t employees make up their own minds, as the equal citizens they are?
In the article, David A. Siegel, the Westgate Resorts CEO who told his 7,000 employees to vote for Romney
if they valued their jobs if they didn’t want the company to be forced to shed jobs, gave the Times the only plausible answer:
“I really wanted them to know how I felt four more years under President Obama was going to affect them. It would be no different from telling your children: ‘Eat your spinach. It’s good for you.’ ”
Call me convinced. If you look up to CEOs who regard their employees as children, Romney’s your candidate.