CEO thriving under Obama pressures employees to vote Romney anyway

Updated
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, gestures as he speaks to supporters at Oklahoma state Republican Party Headquarters in Oklahoma City, May 9, where he...
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, gestures as he speaks to supporters at Oklahoma state Republican Party Headquarters in Oklahoma City, May 9, where he...
Sue Ogrocki/AP

Mitt Romney may not be polling too well with those women voters in Ohio he’s desperate to win over, and he’s far behind President Obama in the polls of Latino and African-American voters, but there’s one demographic he’s never failed to win: the CEOs.

Reports of CEOs urging their employees to vote Romney this November have been coming in for months now, but the latest comes from Jack Dewitt, president of Michigan’s Request Foods. He recently wrote to a scathing letting to his employees where he complained that the past four years under Pres. Obama’s leadership had been “a complete failure.”

If the past four years have been a failure, it hasn’t hurt his company very much. The Huffington Post reports that Request Foods received $5.5 million under a federal grant program aided by Obama’s stimulus. The company has also expanded and seen significant sales growth while Obama’s been in office.

Dewitt isn’t the only CEO pushing for a Romney presidency despite benefiting from Obama policies. Mike White, CEO of Rite-Hite, a major industrial equipment manufacturer in Milwaukee, he told employees in an email this week that they should understand the “personal consequences” that would follow from Obama’s reelection.

White’s letter complains at length about the potential impact of Obamacare and refers to federal tax dollars as going to “the abyss that is Washington, D.C.”  But he fails to mention the $26,000 in stimulus funds the company received.

Although White clearly states in the letter he will not discriminate against any employee for his or her political views, some employees were taken aback by the tone of the email. At least one employee told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he felt threatened, saying, “It’s a good company, but for this to come out, it’s absurd.”

OpenSecrets does not have any records indicating that White is a Romney contributor, though their records do say he has donated to Republican Senator Ron Johnson and Scott Walker.

These two join a steady stream of CEOs who have urged their employees to vote for Romney, many coming from swing-states like Ohio, Florida, and now Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the Milwaukee County District Attorney may investigate whether White’s letter violated state law

Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf said Friday that his office is open to hearing from Rite-Hite employees who were upset with the email sent by Mike White, the firm’s chairman and owner…

State law states: “No employer or agent of an employer may distribute to any employee printed matter containing any threat, notice or information that if a particular ticket of a political party or organization or candidate is elected or any referendum question is adopted or rejected, work in the employer’s place or establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or the place or establishment will be closed, or the salaries or wages of the employees will be reduced, or other threats intended to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees.”

The email surprised and disappointed some employees. Employees who contacted the Journal Sentinel about the email said they did not want to identify themselves for fear of losing their job.


 

CEO thriving under Obama pressures employees to vote Romney anyway

Updated