Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel talks at his home in Windermere
DAVID MANNING

Republican CEO thrives after dire anti-Obama warnings

Updated
Shortly before the 2012 presidential election, some notable business leaders used surprisingly heavy-handed tactics, pressuring their employees to support Mitt Romney.
 
David Siegel, however, the nation’s largest time-share developer, tends to be in a league of his own.
 
Before the 2000 race, Siegel boasted of his efforts to use his business to elect George W. Bush. “Whenever I saw a negative article about [Al] Gore, I put it in with the paychecks of my 8,000 employees,” he said. “I had my managers do a survey on every employee. If they liked Bush, we made them register to vote. But not if they liked Gore.”
 
Before the 2012 race, Siegel was even less subtle, sending each of his employees a letter saying President Obama’s re-election would “threaten your job.” He added at the time, “I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive.” Siegel went on to say if Obama raised his taxes, “I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company.”
 
Politically, Siegel’s efforts didn’t work out well, and Obama was re-elected. Economically, however, Siegel has fared extremely well, despite that rascally president raising his taxes. Scott Keyes explained this morning:
Just over two years after penning that company-wide email, Siegel informed Westgate employees that instead of layoffs, he would boost their minimum wage to $10 per hour beginning in 2015.
 
In fact, according to Siegel, 2014 was a banner year. “We’re experiencing the best year in our history and I wanted to do something to show my gratitude for the employees who make that possible,” Siegel said in announcing the wage hike. He also recently told the Orlando Business Journal that “things have never been better.”
Imagine that.
 
Obama actually raised Siegel’s taxes – and implemented the Affordable Care Act, and kept federal regulations in place, and left Dodd-Frank safeguards largely in place – and instead of reducing the size of his company, Siegel expanded it.
 
The system that “penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive” seems to be going quite well for the co-star of the “Queen of Versailles” documentary.
 
As for his 2012 rhetoric, I’m trying to think of any Republican predictions about the effects of an Obama victory that actually came true. Nothing comes to mind.
 

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Republican CEO thrives after dire anti-Obama warnings

Updated