Anti-Obama Millionaire CEO David Siegel Raises Minimum Wage For His Employees

Image of David Seigel and his wife courtesy of Ok! Magazine.

Image of David Seigel and his wife, courtesy of Ok! Magazine.

I am a firm believer in giving credit when credit is due, regardless of political affiliation. If you’ve read this website for any period of time, you’re sure to note that we certainly don’t pull any punches in criticizing conservatives when they do stupid or hateful things – and we also don’t have any problem calling out the left when necessary.


Today, I present to you the story of David Siegel, the time share magnate and CEO of Westgate Resorts. He and his wife appeared in a documentary called “The Queen Of Versailles” which followed the construction of their massive mansion which, according to OK! Magazine, contained the following:

nine kitchens, thirty bedrooms, twenty-three bathrooms, three pools, two bowling alleys, a disco, roller rink, two tennis courts, three hot tubs, 30-car underground carport, expansive wine cellar, bomb shelter, two game rooms, two movie theaters, a grand hall with a 30-foot stained glass dome and $5 million of marble…(Source)

David Seigel, who also claims he was personally responsible for getting George W. Bush elected in 2000, told his employees that if President Obama was re-elected in 2012, he would have no choice but to fire many of them in a letter sent out prior to the election. Here’s a portion of it, courtesy of IBTimes.com:

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…

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 



So that was then, and this is now:

In a news release, Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts, said new employees and those currently earning less than $10 per hour will receive the pay increase “with the exception of commissioned and tipped employees or employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.”

Company officials could not be reached for comment to say how many current employees would be affected. (Source)

President Obama got re-elected, the company didn’t fall apart, David Siegel didn’t lose his motivation to work or provide jobs, and employees got a raise. In fact, they’re having their best year ever according to his own words. Sure, it’s a not huge raise when you look at the cost of living in the Orlando, FL area, but it’s still a start. The hospitality and service industry is not an easy one to work in, so for David Siegel to announce that he’s raising the company minimum wage and giving everyone raises is not only a good publicity move, but a smart move from a business standpoint. I think a lot of other businesses could take a page out of his business book and do the same. After all, it’s pretty hypocritical to complain about people receiving government assistance when your company doesn’t provide a decent wage and benefits.

Kudos to you, David Siegel. This may not make up for your claim that you are personally responsible for getting Bush elected in 2000, but it’s a start.



Comments

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  • Steve Brains

    Wake me when it’s over.

  • Pipercat

    Nine kitchens, faaaa! Typical nouveau riche!

    • Charles Vincent

      he needs them for the nine wives?????

      • Pipercat

        … or he’s just, so damn, hungry all the time!

      • Charles Vincent

        They must ha legalized where he lives.

  • Jerry Graybosch

    Watch the doc. The guy’s a typical real estate megalomaniac who just wants to build monuments to himself. The jobs he takes credit for are actually created by the middle class families he dupes into buying his timeshares.

    • PAC

      The doc was fascinating to me for the psychology behind these people. These people were, are, so entitled that they cannot even clean up after themselves or their pets.

  • saganhill

    No one said you need to be smart to be rich.

  • lynnoo

    Rent the documentary, it is pretty interesting. I really wanted to dislike her but wound up feeling rather bad for her

  • pinballsdoll

    selfish. selfish, selfish…everyone needs a 95,000 sq foot home, right?

  • sherry06053

    I would bet, if the research was done, that his statement would affect very few people – and those that it did affect are already making more than minimum wage. He is leaving out, “commissioned and tipped employees or employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.” I don’t know about that kind of business in Florida, but who DOES it include? I think it was a P/R spin and has almost no affect on their payroll.

  • forpeace

    There are a lot of important details missing in this article.

    In a February 2012 interview by Susan Berfield, David Siegel elaborated:
    “Whenever I saw a negative article about Gore, I put it in with the paychecks of my 8,000 employees. I had my managers do a survey on every employee. If they liked Bush, we made them register to vote. But not if they liked Gore. The week before [the election] we made 80,000 phone calls through my call center—they were robo-calls. On Election Day, we made sure everyone who was voting for Bush got to the polls.

    During the 2012 United States elections, Siegel caused controversy and public debate when he sent a mass email to his employees, suggesting that they vote for Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney or he might have to take drastic measures in how he operated the company (including cutting back on his company’s workforce).

    In 2008, Siegel was found liable in a sexual-harassment lawsuit brought by former Westgate employee Dawn Myers. After a trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the jury awarded $5.4-million but the judge reduced the award to $610,000.[15] In the trial award, Myers recovered $103,622.09 in compensatory damages and $506,847.75 in punitive damages arising from her claim of battery under state law, but her claims of sexual harassment were found to be time-barred. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed an appeal and cross-appeal, affirming the district court’s verdict.

  • Guest

    Oh wow he’s paying people enough to live off of, let’s pin a f*cking medal on his chest

  • LadyeCatte

    Not falling for it. Raising the wages of some people (in all likelihood a very low number) isn’t impressive when you remember that he’s an underhanded liar that tried once already to influence an election by screwing with his employees’ lives.

    Look for this non-issue to be prominent in Republican debates, as if it’s some sort of proof of employers acting responsibly towards their people independent of wage laws.

  • This zion ain’t lyin

    What is this? PR for David Siegel, scumbag of the universe? This piece of crap cheated thousands of his employees for decades. He paid many as sub-contractors, depriving them of benefits, social security, disability, unemployment coverage when he dumped them. He’s doing this because he was under investigation by the feds, and its PR for him. What a lying turd. He gave Charlie Crist millions not to prosecute him when Crist was attorney general under Jeb Bush.

  • This zion ain’t lyin

    Siegel, what did you and your henchmen do with Jennifer Kesse’s body? You filthy animal. Your stolen millions protect you from the law, which doesn’t exist in central Florida thanks to gangsters like you who run slave camps.

  • This zion ain’t lyin

    Siegel only exists and succeeded because of easy credit and corrupt bankers that could be bought. He is the leftover puss of the credit bust.

  • This zion ain’t lyin

    His wife Jackie is a drug dealer and all 28 of his kids are mentally disturbed seriously addicted drug addicts.

  • This zion ain’t lyin

    Anyone who buys timeshare or anything from westgate & siegel is getting ripped off and is an imbecile.

  • brian nunziato

    He’s still garbage in a suit.

  • Keith G. Cooper

    Siegel is a flipping con man!

  • Charles Vincent

    I don’t know whats funnier the hyperbole in the article or the fact that he is peddling a story that happened more than a year ago as new news.

  • Fabj

    This guy is still a creep. Watch the doc. This is a publicity stunt…and is working.

  • M Chas

    You know this guy most likely killed Jennifer Kesse.