We’ve noted several recent incidents involving business leaders using heavy-handed election tactics, pressuring their employees to support Mitt Romney, apparently at the candidate’s behest. Jack DeWitt, the president of Request Foods, however, is a little different than most.
DeWitt, like the other pro-Romney businessmen, is using his position of authority to pressure his employees to vote Republican. In this case, Request Foods’ internal newsletter featured a condemnation of President Obama from DeWitt, who argued, “[I]t’s obvious that Washington needs to become smaller and spend less of our hard-earned money.”
Request Foods obtained $5.5 million under a federal grant program that Obama’s stimulus bill increased by $1 billion. Last year, the company greatly expanded its footprint in Holland, Mich., where it used the money for a water treatment plant to serve a new facility. The company has also seen a strong increase in sales during the Obama administration. […]
Holland Township Supervisor Terry Nienhuis said the Great Recession appeared to be a boom time for Request Foods. “They are going strong,” he told The Huffington Post. “They didn’t seem to be affected by it at all. In fact, I think that was one of their strongest growing periods. Yeah, they’re doing well. They are providing very important jobs for people who are having difficulty finding employment.”
With the help from taxpayer money, Request was able to add at least 250 jobs. That means workers who were hired, at least indirectly, as a result of the stimulus are now being pressed to vote against the president for spending too much money.
To be sure, Jack DeWitt isn’t the only Republican business leader leaning on his workers to vote the way he prefers, but he is one of that more exclusive club of Republican business leaders who’s doing so despite owing Obama a thank-you note.