Vote for Kerry, Lose your job!


Mark Follman
September 13, 2004 11:46PM (UTC)

That may be the new bumper sticker of choice for an Alabama woman who says she got fired by her pro-Bush boss last Thursday for publicly supporting the Democratic candidate for president. The Decatur Daily reports that Lynne Gobbell, a worker at an Alabama insulation company called Enviromate, says she got axed for refusing to remove a Kerry-Edwards sticker displayed on the rear windshield of her Chevy Lumina. Her boss Phil Geddes, a Decatur bankruptcy attorney and the owner of Enviromate, did not return the Daily's calls about the alleged firing, according to the report.

"We were going back to work from break," Gobbell told the Daily, "and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car or I was fired."

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Gobbell said she went to Geddes' office to confront him. "Phil and another man who works there were there," she said. "I asked him if he said to remove the sticker and he said, 'Yes, I did.' I told him he couldn't tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, 'I own this place.' I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for."

"I asked him if I was fired and he told me he was thinking about it," she said. "I said, Well, am I fired? He hollered and said, Get out of here and shut the door."

Gobbell said she then asked her manager what to do. He initially told her to go back to work, but returned a few minutes later and said, "I reckon you're fired. You could either work for him or John Kerry."

Still, expressing one's political opinions does not appear to be entirely out of the question at Enviromate. Gobbell provided the Daily with a flier that her boss Geddes had recently stuffed inside employee pay envelopes -- the flier's contents were verified by another worker who didn't want his name used -- in praise of the current president:

"Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut):

"I was able to buy the new Hammer Mill
"I was able to finance our receivables
"I was able to get the new CAT skid steer
"I was able to get the wire cutter
"I was able to give you a job"

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In case any of his employees still harbored doubts about Bush, Geddes added:

"You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did."

(Update: War Room originally referred to Enviromate owner Phil Geddes as "Phil Gaddis" in this post, as cited in the above Decatur Daily report. We regret the error. Thanks to reader D.D. for the tip; more information on Enviromate can be found on the company's Web site.)


Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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