Davis Ace Hardware owner and president Jennifer Anderson sent a letter to all of her employees last month urging them to “Vote Romney” when they hit the polls Tuesday.
The store owner described her intentions not necessarily as a ploy to alter the election results in Davis, but rather as a process to get her employees thinking about the ramifications of the presidential election on her company.
“It is your choice who you vote for, but I want to share with you my concerns and how I feel it will impact our company,” Anderson wrote, before citing several policies, including Obamacare, that she believes will negatively affect her business and her employees. “If our company is impacted, it will impact each employee.”
But while Anderson did hope to sway the vote of some of her employees, it was not her intention to offend any of them.
“I’m deeply sorry if I’ve offended any customers or employees,” Anderson told The Enterprise in a phone interview Tuesday. “I truly believe in America and our liberty and everyone’s individual right to have an opinion.
“I guarantee I’m not going to change California or Davis’ results with my letter. It’s a process to educate; my entire process was to educate people about what can happen.”
A federal law that once barred companies from using corporate money to endorse and campaign for political candidates was lifted in 2010 by the Supreme Court, freeing up companies like Davis Ace to send out similar letters.
Under that law, Anderson felt she was well within her rights to send the letter, though she admitted she was uncertain whether to do it.
“There was no threat to any individual employee, no harassment of an individual employee, this was not distributed with paychecks, it was not forced upon them,” Anderson explained. “I really, really care about my employees, I really, really care about my customers and I am deeply concerned.
“I want to be respectful of everyone’s opinion and I would ask the same of them.”
— Reach Tom Sakash at email@example.com or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash