The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected
David Siegel is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, a huge national timeshare company and one of the largest resort developers in the world. In 2007 he was a billionaire, although he may be only a hundred-millionaire now. He and his wife Jackie were the subjects of the recent documentary “The Queen of Versailles,” about their ongoing quest to build the largest house in America, a 90,000 square foot monument to excess. And yesterday, David Siegel sent an email to all of his thousands of employees, in which he—in a veiled way—insinuated that they would be fired of Barack Obama is reelected.
UPDATE: Shortly after we posted this letter, we found out, thanks to multiple readers, that it bore suspicious resemblances to a popular chain letter that was circulated just before the 2008 elections. Well, we just got off the phone with David Siegel, who told us the letter below is real, and that it was sent out to all of his employees yesterday. “I did use the letter that had circulated before as a guideline, but I changed it [to fit my circumstances],” he told us. “It speaks the truth and it gives [employees] something to think about when they go to the polls.” He also said that its threats of possible layoffs are real, based on his assessment of the political and economic climate. He added that he “hasn’t had any negative feedback” on the letter.
The Florida-based Westgate Resorts is not a public company. It is the domain of David Siegel, a staunch Republican. In fact, Siegel has publicly claimed credit for George W. Bush defeating Al Gore, saying “I had my managers do a survey on every employee [8,000 total]. If they liked Bush, we made them register to vote. But not if they liked Gore.”
“The Queen of Versailles” depicts the dashing of Siegel’s mansion dreams after the recession hit. But just months ago, he restarted construction on his personal Palace of Versailles (with the intention of selling it for $100 million) and told Reuters, “We’re the most profitable we’ve ever been.”
Huge mansion. Huge fortune. Profitable company. What could David Siegal have to complain about? Well, the demonization of the 1% by Barack Obama, for one thing. This truly amazing email went out to all Westgate employees yesterday: