The CEO Letter Heard Around The World "Vote Obama; Lose Your Job"

Tyler Durden's picture

NewsBusters reports on THE letter from David Siegel, the founder and CEO of real estate company Westgate Resorts on Monday threatened to fire some employees if Barack Obama is reelected and carries out his plan to raise taxes on the so-called rich. The following are highlights from an email message sent by Siegel to his staff that was obtained and verified as authentic by Gawker. "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."


Subject: Message from David Siegel
Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: [David Siegel]
To: [All employees]

To All My Valued Employees,


As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: 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. 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 choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best. [...]


Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don't pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes. The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?


Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that's what happens to me. [...]


Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate business, not kill it. However, the power brokers in Washington believe redistributing wealth is the essential driver of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change they want.


So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this 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. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.


You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

 Signed, your boss,

 David Siegel

For those unfamiliar with Siegel, he is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, a real estate and timeshare company.

He and his wife were also the subject of the recent documentary "The Queen of Versailles" about their desire to build the largest home in America.

According to Gawker, they were worth over a billion dollars in 2007, but that could be less now as a result of the real estate bust.

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Long-John-Silver's picture
The CEO Letter Heard Around The World "Vote Obama; Lose Your Job" and your country.
SilverTree's picture

Have a career based in a bubble industry propped up by the FED >>>>loose thy job.

Jack Burton's picture

No shit SilverTree. This CEO rode a manipulated government supported Bubble Market with plenty on government intervention and support. Now he claims he is being badly used by government.

Well what is it? Either you liked what government support did for your business or you don't. There is little free market in housing it is all tax and Fed and government manipulated.

Yet this CEO talks like he is operating in Ayna Rand's world?

Dalago's picture

This David Siegel guy is a Neocon.

francis_sawyer's picture

 "Vote Obama; Lose your Job"...

Hmmm ~ so I guess basically you're trading your job for a phone, and getting your gas & mortgage paid... Lemme think about this one...

kaiserhoff's picture

Why is Obammy like NASCAR?

Gimme a left, a left..., a left, left, left.

francis_sawyer's picture

Two wrongs don't make a right, (but 3 lefts do)...

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Siegel's comment about laying on a Caribbean beach reminds me of this story;

A retired and very wealthy American mega-yacht owner was at the village pier on a remote Pacific island, when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, "Only a little while."

The yacht owner asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The fisherman said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The yacht owner then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The yacht owner scoffed, " I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Australia, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

The American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The yacht owner laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The yacht owner said, "Then you would do what I did - retire, buy a huge power boat and go searching for the perfect piece of property on an idyllic, remote Pacific island, where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."


redpill's picture

While Siegel is obviously a completely classless baboon, the Feds don't deserve a single red cent of his money.  Letters like this are stupid though, not only is the messaging bad, but the stated threat sounds disengenuous and hollow.  This guy isn't going to shut his company down, even if he's had enough; he would sell it, and most of the employees would keep their jobs.  And whether you agree with him or not, who wants to work at a company where your dripping-rich CEO writes long whiney letters threatening your $12/hour job because he doesn't like the way national politics are playing out (who does, Dave?).  Despite stating otherwise, obviously this letter is intended to motivate his employees to vote a certain way.  In that context it is poorly executed.  He should have hired someone to write a letter that might actually sway peoples' opinions instead of just making him look like a rich a-hole.

Popo's picture

Oh NOES.  Obama might lose that all-important CEO demographic!   If he doesn't watch out he'll lose .0001% of the vote.

Pure Evil's picture

You would think the vast majority of the folks would have figured this out since Obama's inauguration in 2008.

A vote for Obummer could result in the loss of your job.

Somebody's got to redistribute the taxpayers wealth to Wall Street banks.

Trillions for Wall Street, cell phones for sheeple.

That's fair, how much hope and change were you expecting?

redpill's picture

Unfortunately the "CEO demographic" is all-important when it comes to national politics in the US merely by the fact that politicians rely on big whale donors to fund their campaigns (both major national parties have plenty of examples of this).  In the end they would lose a lot of votes if they couldn't afford the mass marketing to convince the sheeple you are anything and everything to them.  The mob makes their "decisions" based upon trivial political propaganda and advertising, or maybe who looks better, or who "they'd rather have a beer with" instead of using their pea brains to consider the real world impact of the actual actions (not words) and policies of the people they are "voting" for.

SeattleBruce's picture

"instead of using their pea brains" 

Not making ultimate excuses for the sheeple - but if people don't seize, aren't given opportunities, or indeed required to use their brains, they don't use them as much.  It's not that there's not capacity there, although that can be a problem at times, and I suppose like other muscles, if the brain's not used it atrophies, or it's killed off by boozing, drugs, et al.  But people have to extract themselves out of pea sized thinking.  That probably starts by turning off the TV and reading more.

Larry Dallas's picture

I think the rub here is that this guy, as much as he is classless and his ego go to the point where he needed to have his own reality show... wait for it... made it himself.

He had the business and marketing acumen to sell timeshares. No different than a developer building SFHs in Gilbert AZ. He became wealthy becuse others found value in what he was doing.

Yes, he used borrowed money. So does the rest of the world. He's just smarter than the rest.

Since when did using debt or equity to build a business become a sin on ZH? WTF? This isn't HuffPo.

What really pisses me off (and the last thing I would expect to read on ZH) is that folks are judging him by saying he "didn't make anything tangible" or "didn't make anything of real value". Who the hell are they to judge? If its so easy, why aren't they doing it themselves? Not everyone wants to start a gold mining company.

If you've ever had your own businesses, you'll know its not all fun and games and fuck you, I did build them. I've made a bunch of money and I've lost a bunch of money. 

I know what its like to lay in a pool of my own sweat. No iBamaPhone either.

So my rule is: Don't talk to me about politics unless you've had to make a payroll. Just STFU because I don't care.

Junk me, I don't give a fuck.  Every decision you make in life is your own. And this guy Siegel is just really saying:  I'm tired of paying for everyone else who make repeated bad decisions during and after high school...


SilverTree's picture

I truly agree with everything you said but I junked you anyway. :-)

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

You are completely right (and why I upvoted you) in your statements, but, too fucking bad, dog eat dog works both ways, and vaginas like this dude seem to devolve to histrionics at the slightest suggestion that the winds might be turning against him, regardless of whether those winds are misguided or not.  

This is the base problem with our society in general, there is a massive lack of cognitive power devoted to the problem of "fairness".  I know that's a dirty word in conservative circles, and the liberal solution has been, as they say down south, a "hot mess", but when a society doesn't account for "fairness", it tends to be accounted for them.  Think Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan here.  Knees tend to get taken out (as Brian Cushing recently discovered).  

This is why neither candidate is sufficient, because none of their owners are willing to give up some of their power in exchange for a better society.  What I mean by that is individuals of all income levels need to step the fuck away from the feed trough, realize they've been consuming heavily processed garbage, and find some other method of sustenence.  Our government is currently set up to encourage the bad behavior of both the "Obamaphone" useless eaters, and the "fat cat banker" useless eaters.  Voting for Romney or Obama would solve neither issue.

cornflakesdisease's picture

When we all work at McDonalds, how will America have a tax base?

potlatch's picture

"dog eat dog works both ways"



so very, very true.  As I am sure he himself loves to say, "Life isn't fair."


Funny how the rich try to say when life is supposed to be fair, and when it is not.


Then the dogs are at the gate.  And there are a lot of them.

TruthDetector's picture

you might (but probably don't) want to reconsider some very basic assumptions under which you operate.

Try reading the following (for starters)...


TruthDetector's picture

you might (but probably don't) want to reconsider some very basic assumptions under which you operate.

Try reading the following (for starters)...


firstdivision's picture

wait for it... made it himself.

Pretty sure it was made with plenty of government help in the way of Fannie/Freddie and the bailout from the taxpayers, but you keep living in your misplaced logic.

Larry Dallas's picture

I never heard of Fannie/Freddie buying timeshare paper, or any liquidity in the secondary timeshare market for timeshares as its usually the toothless and homeless families who buy these shares. So I'm not sure your logic make sense here.

Tell me I'm wrong. But your logic would be correctly placed if this were the CEO of DR Horton [insert any privately / publically traded homebuilder].

You forgot to mention that he provided jobs to those folks. And paid payroll taxes (we assume) for those folks. 

firstdivision's picture

He's also in the business of construction, which I would wager does include homes.

David's empire includes timeshare, real estate, construction, hotel and apartment management, travel services, telecommunications, citrus, insurance, transportation, retail, and much more.

Whalley World's picture

Your understanding of Vacation Ownership is somewhat limited Amigo. I have owned "timeshare" for years, great resorts at reasonable prices.  The vacations  I have taken due to these properties were unbelievable.  Through one program I was able to stay at Fisherman's Resort in Playacar for a week for $150. (all in)

The posted nightly rate was $450.00, so, when it comes to timeshare, one of us is stupid.

Rentier's picture

you may got it for $150, but what did you pay in maintence dues that year?  Timeshares have no real value, just ask a bankruptcy court.  Knew someone that owned two timeshares and they had to file bankruptcy, when he went to court and told them about the two time shares the court told him not to bother listing them and they have no value.

Gringo Viejo's picture

No shortage of socialist trolls on the board. Don't like capitalism? THEN GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY COUNTRY YOU COMMUNIST COCKSUCKERS!

firstdivision's picture

Sure guy, I'm a socialst troll.  You're a fucking moron and obviously are quite new here, but keep thinking you're relevant chief.

Gringo Viejo's picture

You'll have to forgive my bluntness. I'm an old man, served in the Marines during Vet Nam (0311), and detest what has befallen America. As to my relevance, that remains to be seen in the days to come. But all things being equal, I would rather be walking in my primitive shoes than those of a new age, youngster as yourself. When faced with a situation (and you will be) where your continued physical survival is in question, you had better be able to use more than your mouth. In closing, note I do not give down arrows to anyone speaking their piece. I'm not to judge that which is relevant.....or not.

TruthDetector's picture

you might (but probably don't) want to reconsider some very basic assumptions under which you operate.

Try reading the following (for starters)...


greensnacks's picture

Most federal revenues are funnelled to corporations, not lazy people and pbs.  Social welfare accounts for 12% of the budget and I'm all for making able people work to earn that 12%, but Obama phones aren't bankrupting this nation. Think about it - the government pays for the phones, but the carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Nokia, etc end up with money. So in a sense, the obama phone is just a program to launder federal tax dollars to corporations. Eliminate it! but don't blame poor people for abusing the system when the corporations end up with all the money.

It cost a lot provide security for the rest of the world. Perhaps we could make a bigger dent in our deficits if our NATO allies were made to pay their fare share in protecting the rest of the world, so we can reduce our out of control defense spending.



ActiveIngredient's picture

The biggest problem with the Obamaphones and other social programs isn't their cost.  It's that they create a large and growing permanent underclass who are entirely dependent on government.   The politicians can then easily buy their votes (and by extension, their complicity in the status quo plunder by the oligarchs) with simple promises of more free stuff, or threats that the "other team" will take the goodies away.


Cathartes Aura's picture

and the .gov can buy votes from those who want to "pay less taxes" through various loopholes & shelters.  and corporations, particularly war & death related corps, they all buy votes via lobbyists.

everyone votes for what they want, right?  and the "obamaphones" have been around through bush, etc. too - obama-name is just the current one.

but lets get real - what percentage of peoples actually do vote any more?  and who counts them?

ActiveIngredient's picture

The politicians who dole out all those $$ to the corporations you describe are betraying the country.   But we can't boot them out of office as long as 100 million + people are dependent to at least some extent on various social programs, because these people now make voting decisions based on who will continue to give them more free stuff, instead of who will do the right thing for the country.  

And by the way....what is wrong with wanting to pay less taxes?  Who in their right mind would want to have half their earnings stolen by corrupt politicians who take our money and use it to reward their special interest supporters?



SeattleBruce's picture

12% on welfare?  You mean to tell me that the 22% that's spent on 'health care' and 22% on 'pensions' and the 6% on 'other' and 4% on education, doesn't include welfare and vote buying by the fed government?  Come on!

I agree with you about sharing the defense load with others in NATO, and generally ramping back this insane policeman superpower role we're in right now.  We definitely need to have that national conversation.

Mad Mohel's picture

That guy is a first class cunt and crook of the highest order. There are thousands of complaints against the scams he is running. He even paid 5.4 million for pulling out his prick to an employee. Shut the fuck up and pay your taxes you crooked bastard.

Ferrari's picture

"...the Feds don't deserve a single red cent of his money." Ok, but what's his position on Iran? I suspect he thinks we need to back Israel's play on Iran to preserve the American Way, but he doesn't want to pay for the useless agression? Naw, naw, naw. You want another useless war, you pay for it.

To say nothing of the fact that the hapless US taxpayer has been berry, berry, berry good to Mr. Siegel's chosen industry.

TruthDetector's picture

you might (but probably don't) want to reconsider some very basic assumptions under which you operate.

Try reading the following (for starters)...


redd_green's picture

HIS money?  And what banking system did "he" make all that money in?

TruthDetector's picture

you might (but probably don't) want to reconsider some very basic assumptions under which you operate.

Try reading the following for starters...


Strider52's picture

OOPS, for a minute there I thought MDB made a useful comment, until I read the name a bit closer.

My bad...back to your regular ZH...

john39's picture

He is the epitome of what went wrong in the global economy....  his tacky, grotesque monstrous billion dollar barn that he is building but can't finish is the perfect symbol of the central bank manipulated fascist world economy.  his 'wealth' is based on junk real-estate deals before the crash...  ie, during the fed created bubble.  this letter is a total joke.  

Bicycle Repairman's picture

I wonder what Mr. Siegel would have thought about a Ron Paul Presidency.  Ron could have beaten Obama.

MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

"ron could have beaten Obama"

Yeah, or, he coulda been a Kennedy....

twh99's picture

Not likely.

I like what Ron stands for, but I always got the impression that he was just a wee bit crazy.

Temporis's picture

Wow his email sound almost like what Union Leaders comments/emails/letters say to union members...

Vote "D" or lose your job/healthcare/benifits.


Funny how MSM really does not give a shit when Unions do that...

midtowng's picture

Are you kidding? The MSM is led by Fox News, and they hate unions.

LMAOLORI's picture



Donations by Media Companies Tilt Heavily to Obama


All the major media companies, driven largely by their Hollywood film and television businesses, have made larger contributions to President Obama than to his rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington-based research group that publishes the Open Secrets Web site.

The center’s numbers represent donations by a company’s PAC and any employees who listed that company as their employer.

Even companies whose news outlets are often perceived as having a conservative bias have given significantly more money to Mr. Obama. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, for example, has contributed $58,825 to Mr. Obama’s campaign, compared with $2,750 to Mr. Romney

knukles's picture

Idyllic Island Quiz:

What Idyllic Island claiming to be Pro-Union recently suffered a walkout of unionized labor at it's Organ of the Pro-Union Propaganda Mechanism?


Manhattan and it's Soul of Wondrous Futures, The New York Times