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Business Owner Facing Backlash For Urging Employees To Vote Romney

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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DAVIS (CBS13) – A small business owner in Davis asked her employees to vote for Mitt Romney. Not only did he lose, but now she’s dealing with the backlash.

“That’s not good at all, to start trying to coerce people for votes,” said Osagie Edebiri.

Edebiri was so outraged that he returned a key he just bought from the store as a matter of principle.

“I feel like employees might get the wrong idea and feel like, maybe if they don’t vote the right way, their jobs may be in jeopardy,” said Edebiri.

The Davis Ace Hardware owner sent a letter to her employees urging them to vote for Romney. She argues President Barack Obama’s tax policies and healthcare program hurt small businesses.

“This affects us,” she writes. “Because I won’t hire more people.”

Now, she is facing a potential boycott backlash.

An employee tells us the letter didn’t sit too well, and when someone posted it online anonymously, it caused an uproar.

“Shame on you,” one comment reads in all caps. “I won’t be shopping at Ace Hardware anymore.”

Grace Doran had the same initial reaction, but is reconsidering boycotting the business.

“I realize that my not shopping there would affect the employees who work there that may not necessarily support that, so I’m conflicted,” said Doran.

The letter closes with one last plea for a Romney/Ryan vote. “The outcome will affect our business. The choice is yours.”

“If she really believes it’s our choice, then why not allow us to make our choice?” said Edebiri.

Now some shoppers say they’ll choose to spend their money elsewhere. One employee admits it’s been pretty slow since the letter came out.

CBS13 tried repeatedly to reach out to the store owner with phone calls, emails, and even Facebook messages, but with no response.

The store owner’s letter is legal, but many still feel she went too far.

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