Trying to Control the Vote
Jack Ambrosiani, president of Cygnus Company in Sandpoint, has felt it necessary to enclose a letter with his employees’ time sheets that attempts to shape and influence the vote of this audience whose paychecks he controls. Not only does it push his political biases on them, but it contains misleading and outright false information.
Though it is not illegal for a privately held company in Idaho to coerce, influence or attempt to coerce or influence an employee’s vote, but in federal, state and local governmental agencies there are strong prohibitions against such actions. Mr. Ambrosiani does a lot of business with such agencies.
Legal or illegal, one needs to ask oneself, is this appropriate business practice and behavior for anyone? For whom to vote is a private matter. And although Mr. Ambrosiani acknowledges his employees’ “right to vote however they so choose”, he lets them know that “those are your rights which our Code of Ethics also insures.” An irrelevant assurance, full of hubris, as he seemingly forgets that our right to vote is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, whether Cygnus has a Code of Ethics or not. But perhaps that Code should include respecting employees’ right to privacy and freedom from influence by company officials when it comes to the ballot box.
Now regarding the subject matter of the letter: the agenda-driven message endorses his favorite candidates whom he sees as vehicles for bringing home the bacon for his company. Simultaneously he repeatedly slanders two other candidates he sees as insufficiently supportive of that agenda as liars, specifically senatorial candidate Danielle Ahrens and “her associate”, state representative candidate Heather Scott.
I’d like to set the record straight based on some facts he chose to ignore, whether willfully or ignorantly:
· Fact: Scott and Ahrens are not, and never have been, “associates”; they are, and have been, running for different legislative positions.
· Fact: Scott was not present at the governor’s visit he references and has no connection to it.
· Fact: Danielle Ahrens’ account of the visit was deemed valid by the Republican Central Committee and was accepted as such.
· Fact: Mrs. Ambrosiani was never “censored” by the Committee. Perhaps Mr. Ambrosiani is unclear about the difference between “censored” and “censured”.
· Fact: Mrs. Ambrosiani did not “lose” her position as chair of the Committee because of the incident at the governor’s visit because her term as chair had already expired five months before that visit.
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