This week, another billionaire is following suit. Chris Hayes reports on MSBC’s Up that Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG, the Florida-based software solution firm, also told his employees in an email that there would repercussions if Obama won a second term. In no uncertain terms, Allen threatened his workers with layoffs, cutbacks and fewer benefits.
The subject of the email was “Will the US Presidential election directly impact your future jobs at ASG? Please read below.” Allen discussed the need of transferring the role of president from a politician to someone with “business experience.”
Allen told his employees, “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 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.”
In These Times reported yesterday that the billionaire Koch brothers sent pro-Romney mailing to 45,000 of their employees. The package included a list of Koch-approved officials from the White House to the State House, an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch.
Hayes highlighted that these emails and mailings fall into a legal grey area, are not completely illegal and fall under the Freedom of Speech. The controversy is that the threats made by employers can be followed through.
A recent Supreme Court Decision in 2010 overturned previous laws that had prohibited employers from expressing their political opinions directly to their employers.