Mitt Romney wants your boss to talk politics with you at work, and it turns out there’s a handy how-to video to make it easy for them to start the discussion.
Romney delivered his advice to an undisclosed number of bosses at the National Federation of Independent Business during a conference call back in June. The recording resurfaced this week after In These Times magazine started reporting on the issue.
At the end of the conference call Romney says, “Whether you agree with me or President Obama or whatever your political view, I hope you pass on those views to your employees…nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what is best for the business because I think that will figure into their election decision.”
Romney’s right. It’s not illegal for bosses to tell their employees how they should vote. In fact, legal analysts like Professor Paul Secunda argue the “Citizens United” ruling that spawned super PACs and unfettered campaign cash, opened the door for employers to push their politics on workers with the full protection of federal law.
The Ed Show has previously reported on bosses like David Siegel, the Koch Brothers and Robert Murray who’ve been caught “advising” their employees on how to vote. Siegel threatened to close the business and let go of the employees if the president is re-elected.
But other bosses apparently need some help talking politics with their workers. So the National Federation of Independent Business put together this video to help bosses all over America start this discussion on the job. The NFIB says it represents about 350,000 business owners.
In the group’s video, the presenter says, “Research shows employers are the most trusted source of information regarding candidates, issues and elections.” NFIB doesn’t cite the source of that “research,” but it’s a heady message for your manager. Do you depend on your boss to guide your political opinions? Is your employer your most trusted source of information on candidates?
The video encourages your boss to have an open discussion with you about the election. The NFIB also provides a voting guide for congressional races. Don’t bother checking - the NFIB almost exclusively favors Republican candidates.
So if your boss calls a meeting to tell you why voting for Mitt Romney will help your business, remember, your boss is just exercising his or her First Amendment rights. In fact, Mitt Romney asked your boss to do it. And if you express your own opinions, and the boss doesn’t like it, there’s no federal law that will protect your job.