Macdonald's and "voter intimidation"

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    Oct 30, 2010 1:35 AM GMT
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/29/voter-intimidation-mcdonalds-republican_n_776187.htmlVoter Intimidation At McDonald's: Employees Told That, Unless Republicans Win, They Won't Get Raises Or Benefits

    "As the election season is here we wanted you to know which candidates will help our business grow in the future," reads the letter. "As you know, the better our business does it enables us to invest in our people and our restaurants. If the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected, we will not. As always, who you vote for is completely your personal decision and many factors go into your decision."

    The note ends with a list of candidates McDonald's believes "will help our business move forward." It names Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for Senate, and Jim Renacci for Congress. With the letter was a biography of Renacci.


    Is the owner of that franchise just trying to say out loud what's in the minds of those who run business, large and small? The people who are holding the purse strings, hoarding $1 trillion in anticipation of "uncertaintly" when it's they who are creating the uncertainty by reifying their fears in the word "Obama."

    So unless we vote Republican, they will continue to hold their purse strings, when it's their purse stings that they need to loosen to improve the economy?

    Heads I win, tails you lose.
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    Oct 30, 2010 2:03 AM GMT
    I know your "trusted" Huffington Post referred to the letter as "voter intimidation", but even the left leaning Slate carried different definitions. Although as the article indicates, there can be different interpretations of voter intimidation, the letter from McDonalds does not even come close to any of the interpretations cited.

    Aside from that, businesses have announced additional health care costs and/or reduced benefits because of Obamacare, and the media also contains reports of companies hesitant to hire because of the uncertainties of health care costs and taxes for next year.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2109096/

    "Courts consistently rule that physical violence or threats constitute voter intimidation, but, as today's conflicting rulings show, there is no judicial consensus on which nonviolent acts are legally considered intimidating. State and federal laws that ban intimidation don't offer much guidance on how courts should define it. The Ohio law, for instance, says that "no person shall … attempt by intimidation, coercion, or other unlawful means" to keep someone from voting. The most significant federal law banning intimidation is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which states in Section 11(b) that "No person … shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce … any person for voting or attempting to vote."
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    Oct 30, 2010 2:13 AM GMT
    I see your point. That's why I put "voter intimidation" in quotes.
    But it clearly contravenes Ohio law:
    http://law.onecle.com/ohio/elections/3599.05.htmlNo employer or his agent or a corporation shall print or authorize to be printed upon any pay envelopes any statements intended or calculated to influence the political action of his or its employees; or post or exhibit in the establishment or anywhere in or about the establishment any posters, placards, or hand bills containing any threat, notice, or information that if any particular candidate is elected or defeated work in the establishment will cease in whole or in part, or other threats expressed or implied, intended to influence the political opinions or votes of his or its employees.

    Whoever violates this section is guilty of corrupt practices, and shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.


    What I was more concerned about is the "heads I win, tails you lose" mentality. I.e. no matter what the Republicans' policies are (and no matter whether they are truly beneficial for the economy), the economy WILL improve only when they control Congress, because only then will companies start hiring.
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    Oct 30, 2010 2:43 AM GMT
    I see your point, and did not realize your quotes were intended to put some distance between yourself and the source.

    Not sure the Ohio law is violated, based on what you cite. I think the spirit of the law might be violated, but not the actual law, specifically because the message was not on the pay stubs or posted in the establishments. It doesn't seem letters are covered.

    Also agree that psychology versus actual policy can impact attitudes which can in turn impact action, which in turn impacts the economy. Buy it is not only psychology. Congress left without dealing on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the health care costs do remain uncertain.
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    Oct 30, 2010 3:05 AM GMT
    So you're saying if the Democrats win and let the tax cuts expire for the top 1%, and spelled out exactly the health care costs in no uncertain terms, businesses are going to start hiring again? Because that's certainty, and costs can be calculated exactly then.
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    Oct 30, 2010 3:29 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidSo you're saying if the Democrats win and let the tax cuts expire for the top 1%, and spelled out exactly the health care costs in no uncertain terms, businesses are going to start hiring again? Because that's certainty, and costs can be calculated exactly then.
    Based on what I read, the uncertainty is the biggest issue. The scenario you mention would reduce much of that, so I think there would be more hiring.

    The only possible caveat is "if the Democrats win". I think there is some concern that if the Democrats retained both houses, they could pass additional taxes or business limiting regulations, so that could have a damping effect. But I think that is academic as most expect the Republicans to take control of the House.
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    Oct 30, 2010 5:32 PM GMT
    it is voter intimidation by sending it and telling the workers that if they dont vote a certian way they will have a pay cut and lose benefits. This guy should lose the Franchise and face criminal charges.