Siegel in the Magnolia Pictures documentary "The Queen of Versailles" (Magnolia Pictures YouTube)
by Ugonna Okpalaoka, TheGrio.com
The man who takes credit for getting George W. Bush elected as president is now making efforts to see that Republican candidate Mitt Romney makes it into the Oval Office, too.
David Siegel, the multi-millionaire founder and CEO of Westgate
Resorts, sent out an e-mail yesterday to more than 7,000 of his
employees threatening layoffs if President Barack Obama is re-elected.
The letter reads in the beginning: "The economy doesn't currently
pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is
another 4 years of the same presidential administration."
Right after, Siegel reassures his employees that his intention isn't to force them to vote one way or the other.
"Of course, as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I
certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you
But then later in his letter, he sends a thinly-veiled message:
So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If
any new taxies are levied on me, or my company, as our current President
plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of the company.
Rather than grow this company, I will be forced to cut back. This means
fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.
So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which
candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who
doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions
and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and
saving your job.
Gawker posted an update to the story earlier today addressing suspicions that the letter was fake because it bears similarities to a chain letter that made its way around the Internet
during the 2008 election season. The website reached out to Siegel, who
confirmed that his letter is real and said that he used the chain
letter as a guideline.
"I changed it [to fit my circumstances]," he said. "It speaks the
truth and gives [employees] something to think about when they go to the
He also added that the threats of job layoffs are real.
Siegel is the head of Westgate Resorts, "one of the largest resort developers in the world." He and his wife were the stars of the recent documentary The Queen of Versailles,
which follows him as he set out to build the largest house in the
United States. The construction of the 90,000 square foot, $75 million
palace was suspended in 2009 after the recession hit.
To read the full letter, click here.
Follow Ugonna on Twitter at @ugonnaokpalaoka.