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Updated: 2:33 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 | Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012

Could you be fired because of your vote?

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By Clark Howard


Two big employers recently rolled out notices to their employees about the world falling apart if they don't vote for Governor Romney.

Orlando timeshare magnate David Siegel told 7,000 employees by e-mail that he may have to lay them off if President Obama wins a second term.

This is the guy who is building the world's largest home as seen in the reality TV documentary The Queen of Versailles.

"You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive," Siegel wrote, in part. "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."

Meanwhile, the Koch Brothers, who own one of the largest private companies in the U.S., have been long time supporters of conservative causes. Now they've told employees via e-mail to vote for Romney, warning they'll suffer consequences if they vote the wrong way.

I have never seen an election cycle where business owners have been so intense about supporting Romney and shunning Obama.

Even though I don't agree with a lot of what Obama pushes for, I don't believe we are a fragile China doll ready to crumble if he wins a second term. We've survived a lot. I don't believe Obama will put us on the road to Marxism.

I do believe free enterprise will suffer if government grows, but I don't believe employers -- who can say whatever they want -- should be telling employees who to vote for. It's a slippery slope to instruct employees how to vote.

As an employee, anybody who works for the Koch Bros. knows the score. They know about their support for Libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute. They have worn their politics on their sleeves for years. But it's a step too far to tell people how they should vote.

If the idea of free enterprise is to win, it should not be out of fear, like Siegel's comments, but on the merits of small business unleashing the power of capitalism.

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