Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marriott Fires A Democratic Employee For Running Against The Republican The Company Is Backing In Florida


Marriott backs Republicans Lew Oliver and John Quiñones and fired Democrat Viviana Janer to prove it

The specifics of this story tell you a lot about problems facing women, minorities, young people… anyone not part of the old, rich, white, male Establishment of Central Florida. Taking an overview, however, isn't just something about Kissimmee or even Florida; it's about the growing toxicity of conservatives in general and the Republican Party in particular. Vivian Janer is a Democrat running for a county commission seat in Osceola County in central Florida. If elected, she'd be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the commission. She's running against a Republican incumbent named John Quiñones, who has the backing of the big corporate interests and the GOP Establishment in the area. You may recall Quiñones from 2012 when he was defeated in a landslide by a clownish and alcoholic far right-fanatic and anti-Semite, Todd Long, in a bizarre GOP primary to determine which Republican would be defeated by Alan Grayson. This is the same Quiñones who managed to collect a ton of corporate cash and only get 28% of the vote.

Viviana worked for Marriott Vacations Worldwide. "Worked"-- past tense-- because she was just fired from her job because of a "conflict of interest"-- i.e., she's running for office against the Republican her bosses are backing. Marriott gave her a pretty appalling ultimatum: quit the race or quit this job. Marriott International has given $1,000 to Quinones. Obviously, she didn't want to quit the race or lose her job. So on Friday, Marriott just flat out terminated her.

This a pretty clear case of corporate interference in a local election-- trying to get Viviana out of the race (she's already won the Democratic primary, so dropping out would cede the election to Quiñones) and would rob voters of an opportunity to choose between two candidates: one who is running on a middle class agenda and doesn't suck up to Big Business, and one who thinks being an elected official means serving the interests of the corporate special interests happily financing his career.

The Marriott Vacations Worldwide policy that Viviana had read before running in the primary-- which Marriott never complained about-- was this, right from their own handbook:
Marriott’s culture encourages individual participation by Associates in the political and governmental process. This includes service on governmental bodies, work with advocacy organizations, and participation in partisan political activities.
yeah, the real Quiñones
Quiñones' shady law partner is Lew Oliver, the vile racist Chairman of the Orange County Republicans. Lew Oliver was one of the lead GOP operatives who helped kill Orange County's citizens' petition initiative to put earned sick leave on the ballot. Quiñones' lead Republican Party consultant is a character named John Dowless, and that's exactly where most of the Quiñones campaign money flows. You may remember Dowless as the mentally unbalanced, self-loathing closet case who once headed the Florida Christian Coalition. Right now Dowless and Oliver-- and probably Quiñones and the Marriott money bags-- are working behind the scenes to kill a pending charter measure in Orange County that would put party labels next to all county candidates for office, a campaign wrapped around a transparency in elections message, that is scaring the bejesus out of Repiblicans.

Oliver basically shat on the politically powerful Puerto Rican community in a horrible way, and had to eat crow for weeks. This is the garbage the Utah Mormons who control Marriott are underwriting and empowering and for whom they have stepped all over Viviana Janer.

One of Janer's big issues the Republicans are most worked up about has been affordable housing which is a huge problem in Osceola County. They have working families literally living in motels because they can't afford housing. It's horrible-- and it's the issue Viviana wants to fix that has driven the GOP and Marriott to screw her over. Yesterday she said that she wants Republican state lawmakers to stop raiding affordable housing funds that could go to local communities. In Osceola, the crisis is so bad that there are only 4 available affordable housing units for every 100 needed. There are thousands of homeless children in the county. Nor are they happy that she's campaigning on raising the minimum wage and promising to use her position on the county commission to work with the state legislature to raise it. "We have a majority Republican Board of County Commissioners," she said. "We just need one seat to turn the county Commission blue." Marriott is a right-wing corporation that fights against working families on every level-- nationally, statewide and even in local government. But firing someone from their job is a new low for these sleaze bags.

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At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe next time she will follow the company's policy and discuss her run with her Managers. She has no business in this race. She in more concerned with party than the people. She is vile!

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You don't know her to say something like that.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

It is the company's prerogative to fire her. It should not be expected for an employer to take on the risk of being associated with a political policy and candidate. By continuing her employment Marriott could be perceived supporting and or sponsoring her candidacy and policy choices.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this article about Marriot VW’s employee policies interesting:

"A ThinkProgress review of the business conduct guide, as well as the company’s internal guidance for political involvement and outside business activity, appears to back Janer’s claims."


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