TNR.Com has a great story up by Alec Macgillis about Coal Mine Company owner and Romney supporter Robert Murray entitled Coal Miner’s Donor-A Mitt Romney benefactor and his surprisingly generous employees. Murray is notorious for the amount of federal laws his coal mines break on a regular basis, not to mention the amount of employee deaths in his coal mines. From Alec’s writeup:
IT IS BOTH a pundit’s truism and a mathematical reality that Mitt Romney’s path to the White House runs through Ohio. And that path, in turn, runs through a firm called Murray Energy.
Over the years, CEO Robert Murray has brought in GOP pols from as far away as Alaska, California, and Massachusetts for fund-raisers. In 2010, the year John Boehner became House speaker, the firm’s 3,000 employees and their families were his second-biggest source of funds. (AT&T was in first place, but it has nearly 200,000 employees.) This year, Murray is one of the most important GOP players in one of the most important battleground states in the country. In May, he hosted a $1.7 million fund-raiser for Romney. Employees have given the nominee more than $120,000. In August, Romney used Murray’s Century Mine in the town of Beallsville for a speech attacking Barack Obama as anti-coal. This fall, scenes from that event—several dozen coal-smudged Murray miners standing behind the candidate in a tableau framed by a giant American flag and a COAL COUNTRY STANDS WITH MITT placard—have shown up in a Romney ad.
The ads aired even after Ohio papers reported what I was told by several miners at the event, a bit of news that an internal memo confirms: The crowd was not there of its own accord. Murray had suspended Century’s operations and made clear to workers that they were expected to attend, without pay. “I tell ya, you’ve got a great boss,” Romney said in acknowledging Robert Murray from the stage. “He runs a great operation here.”
The accounts of two sources who have worked in managerial positions at the firm, and a review of letters and memos to Murray employees, suggest that coercion may also explain Murray staffers’ financial support for Romney. Murray, it turns out, has for years pressured salaried employees to give to the Murray Energy political action committee (PAC) and to Republican candidates chosen by the company. Internal documents show that company officials track who is and is not giving. The sources say that those who do not give are at risk of being demoted or missing out on bonuses, claims Murray denies.
The Murray sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, came forward separately. But they painted similar pictures of the fund-raising operation. “There’s a lot of coercion,” says one of them. “I just wanted to work, but you feel this constant pressure that, if you don’t contribute, your job’s at stake. You’re compelled to do this whether you want to or not.” Says the second: “They will give you a call if you’re not giving. . . . It’s expected you give Mr. Murray what he asks for.” (emphasis mine)
And what he asks for offers a lesson for 2012: Even in a year of hyperventilation about super PACs, dubious older ways of raising political dollars still matter.
This should be illegal and it’s coercion of employees. It’s also not unusual for David Murray, or another group of Romney bigwigs..like the Koch Brothers to pull shit like this. The Kochs also send out letters to their employees that bad-mouth Obama and praise Romney on a regular basis.
Chris Hayes spent a lot of time this morning on this new way to control the vote by large corporations and their CEO’s…by controlling who their employees vote for. His site has this article up about the issue. Another huge Corporation owner, Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel, actually had the nads to send out a letter to all his employees stating that IF Obama was re-elected he would be forced to lay-off huge amounts of employees. From the Chris Hayes’ article:
Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel came under fire this week for sending an email to his employees demanding that they vote for Mitt Romney and threatening to downsize the company if they don’t. But Siegel’s email isn’t an outlier. It fits a pattern of imperious CEOs attempting to marshal the support of their employees in pursuit of their own political interests.
Up w/ Chris Hayes has exclusively obtained an email sent by the CEO of a Florida-based software firm, ASG Software Solutions, to his over 1,000 employees asking them to vote for Romney for president and suggesting that their jobs may be at stake if Romney doesn’t win. The subject line of the email, sent by ASG President and CEO Arthur Allen on Sept. 30, asks: “Will the US Presidential election directly impact your future jobs at ASG? Please read below.”
Allen then suggests that the company may have to downsize, or be bought by a larger company, if President Obama is re-elected, and suggests that massive cuts and layoffs would ensue if that occurs.
“We have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none,” Allen writes. “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.
Allen adds: “I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don’t, that chance goes away.”
Up w/ Chris attempted to contact Allen several times via phone and email during business hours on Friday. His outgoing message said he was out of the country, so Up w/ Chris also placed calls and sent emails to several other officials at ASG during business hours on Friday as well. We have not received a response.
Here’s the full text of Allen’s email:
Subject: Will the US Presidential election directly impact your future jobs at ASG? Please read below.
To all ASG employees,
We have been stuck in an extremely sick global economy, but as we should all know by now, the global economy largely depends on the US economy. This sick global economy has been negatively influencing ASG since December 2008. No one could have ever have dreamed that the US economy would still be sick 4 years later, but it is. We have a chance, as individuals, to help turn the sick US economy into a healthy economy, and positively influence the global economy as well. This chance comes on November 6th, when we elect a new President and administration. The US and the world need to elect individuals who have business experience. Neither the world nor the US can stand to elect politicians any longer. In my view, and in the view of most business leaders, if you give politicians 100 questions, they will give you back 100 wrong answers simply because they have no basis for making those decisions. Would you hire a person with no experience to do brain surgery? Of course not, but that’s what the US voters did in 2009. Why does the world keep hiring politicians to run our global economies when they have no experience? It just makes no sense, and yet the world keeps doing it over and over again. Let’s take the lead on November 6th and show the world how it should and can be done.
Many of you have been with ASG for over 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years. As you know, together, we have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. I am already heavily involved in considering options that make our independence go away, and with that all of our lives would change forever. I believe that a new President and administration would give US citizens and the world the renewed confidence and optimism we all need to get the global economies started again, and give ASG a chance to stay independent. If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come. Remember, in the world of business, companies are consolidators or they get consolidated; so far ASG has been a consolidator, completing over 60 acquisitions in our 26 year history. When we buy a company, we eliminate about 60 percent of the salaries of the employees of that company. If we lose our independence and get consolidated, the same thing would happen to ASG’s employees.
I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don’t, that chance goes away.
I apologize for writing such a blunt email, but for those of you who have known me for years and years, you know that this must be serious, and it is. I am going to follow this email with an email to All Sales, offering all of our help to assist them in making Q4 the best quarter in ASG history. Business is hard to find, but it is out there if Sales just goes and gets it.
You can watch the entire video of this memo and the resulting discussion on Hayes’ site here. This is pure, unadulterated bullshit and should be investigated as voter tampering imho. It’s an open threat by a CEO to vote Romney ‘or else’. Watch parts of the video of the entire discussion below:
Vote for Romney or your fired
The GOP-led rightwing machine and their buddies, the CEO’s, will always find ways to control the vote, be it voter suppression with new state laws, or this kinda horseshit above.