This letter was sent to employees from Davis ACE Hardware owner Jennifer Anderson and uploaded to Daviswiki Monday night. A pretty passionate conversation bubbled up shortly after.
"I am joining other business owners around the nation in asking employees to vote for Romney & Ryan," Anderson begins.
You can read many comments from community members about Anderson's letter on this DavisWiki page as well as below this article.
UPDATE: I sat down with Jennifer Anderson Tuesday afternoon to ask her about the letter. Here are some snippets from that conversation:
Why send the letter?
“I feel a moral obligation to say these are the concerns I have as a business,” she said. "I see a momentous event coming. I’m telling my employees."
Were you trying to influence employees' votes?
Anderson’s answer is yes.
“I believe I was trying to influence a vote,” she said. "You educate people through information. Is it forced? Do I demand? No.”
“That was not a paycheck stuffer,” she added. “It’s not intimidation. I don’t ask them (about political affiliation) when I interview them.”
What about the fact that Romney has no real chance of winning California? Why encourage the vote if it won't affect the result?
You have to “stand up for some of your principles,” she said, adding that she regularly brings up politics at management meetings so that employees understand how they’ll affect the business.
She said she has “a building distrust” with President Obama and his administration.
If you discovered the identity of the person who posted the letter, what would you say?
“I’d say I’m glad we have different opinions. Let’s talk about them,” she said. “My management team knows I’m a passionate fiscal conservative. I’m sorry that I didn’t hear directly from that employee.”
She also noted that ACE employees are not under contract. They have a choice to work there or not.
Many people have said they plan to boycott the store. How do you feel about that?
“Hurt,” she said. “I’m hurt. Their choice to boycott us will not only hurt me as a Republican; it will hurt Democrats who work here, too.”
“I’ll be making financial decisions and it could affect how many employees (ACE has) and our healthcare," she said. "I took the time to tell my employees and now I’m getting shot.”
“The bottom line is I really care about our employees.”
What do you think of the letter and Anderson's responses? Share your thoughts in the comments below.