An Orlando time-share mogul who told employees they faced possible layoffs if Barack Obama was re-elected has reassured them that massive layoffs aren't on the horizon.
David Siegel informed his 7,000 Westgate Resort employees in an email sent Wednesday that he never intended to cut their jobs if Obama won. He says his comments made in October were taken out of context by the media.
"I am committed now more than ever to bringing my team together and overcoming this adversity, and just want you to know from the bottom of my heart that I value each and everyone of you" Siegel wrote in the email dated November 7, 2012. "Your future is important to me and I only want the best for all of you."
Siegel said in the email he has authorized his executive team to review the salaries and give eligible team members raises if they haven't received one in the past 6 months.
"Hopefully these raises will offset the impact of the tax increases to you and your family that will invariably come from the Obama administration," Siegel wrote.
In the email prior to the election, Siegel said he meant that if the administration keeps increasing the cost of doing business, he would cut back on "the size and growth of the company."
"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. This means fewer jobs, less benefits, and certainly less opportunity for everyone," Siegel said in the email before the election.
The email made national headlines, and Siegel defended his message in an interview with Local 6 the next day.
"We had to downsize the company the last four years without Obamacare and without higher taxes. Now, add Obamacare and higher taxes to the equation and I can almost guarantee that we're going to have to downsize over the next four years if Obama gets re-elected," he told Local 6 News anchor Lauren Rowe.
Siegel also told Rowe that his email was not a threat.
"An informed voter is a good voter," said Siegel. "I wanted (my employees) to know what the future could hold if the wrong person gets elected. I think I owe it to them. If they were my children, I'd tell them the same thing."
Local 6 spoke to Siegel on Thursday about his new email. Tune in to Local 6 News at 11 p.m. to find out what he said.
Siegel and his wife Jacqueline were in a satirical documentary called "The Queen of Versailles" which follows their efforts to build a mansion on Lake Butler.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.