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Campaign 2020 David barrett Donald Trump Expensify Intelwars Joe Biden

Expensify users drop company after left-wing CEO sends unsolicited email telling users to vote for Biden

The CEO of Expensify, a software company that developed an expense management system for businesses, made headlines last week for sending his 10 million customers an unsolicited email claiming they are voting against democracy if they support President Donald Trump.

CEO David Barrett said that “anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy.”

“That’s right,” Barrett continued, “I’m saying a vote for Trump, a vote for a third-party candidate, or simply not voting at all — they’re all the same, and they all mean: ‘I care more about my favorite issue than democracy. I believe Trump winning is more important than democracy. I am comfortable standing aside and allowing democracy to be methodically dismantled, in plain sight.'”

Barrett even suggested that not supporting Biden is tantamount to risking “civil war.”

What’s happening now?

The mass email generated significant controversy, and now it appears Expensify is losing customers over Barrett’s anti-Trump plea.

“I do have to give my sincere thanks to @dbarrett. He and his company @expensify’s misuse of my personal data to send me a pro-Biden spam email prompted me to do some thinking. Turns out we have the capacity to add users to our QuickBooks and dump his product thus saving money,” one now-former Expensify user said on Twitter.

“Deleting @expensify and never using them again after their founder/CEO blasted this e mail out to customers this morning,” another person said.

One business CEO, Carlos Domingo, responded by asking for alternatives to Expensify.

“The email from the CEO of @expensify to their customer database is completely innapropiate irrespective of your political views. Total spam. We use them. Alternatives?” Domingo tweeted.

Another person said, “Friend of mine who runs a biotech company canceled his @expensify account. He emailed a few of us about it: “If I wanted to pay someone to tell me to vote Democrat I’d enroll in a university.”

Daniel Rothschild, executive director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, responded by sending Barrett a letter of his own.

“My feelings on politics aren’t as strong as yours. But I do have strong feelings about another matter: trust. For a variety of reasons, America is becoming a low-trust society,” Rothschild wrote. “Your email contributes to this breakdown in social trust.”

“David, we selected Expensify as a vendor based on trust — after all, you have financial information for us organizationally as well as the personal information of hundreds of my colleagues. You also have our email addresses. We trusted you with our private information. You have violated that trust,” he added.

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Civil War David barrett Donald Trump Election 2020 Expensify Intelwars Joe Biden

Expensify CEO sends unsolicited email to 10 million customers telling them to vote Biden or risk ‘civil war’

The CEO of Expensify, a software company that develops a system for businesses to file expenses, sent an unsolicited email to approximately 10 million customers Thursday evening urging them to vote for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3 and claiming that the country would head toward civil war if Biden doesn’t win.

“Anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy,” CEO David Barrett wrote in an email with the subject line, “Protect democracy, vote Biden.”

“A vote for Trump is to endorse voter suppression, it really is very basic,” he added.

Barrett told his customers that any vote for President Donald Trump or a third-party candidate or even the decision not to vote was tantamount to “allowing democracy to be methodically dismantled, in plain sight.”

Addressing the concerns of “those who disagree” with the email, Barrett wrote that the First Amendment gives Expensify a right to weigh in on the election and that his company’s success depends on Trump losing.

“Expensify depends on a functioning society and economy; not many expense reports get filed during a civil war,” Barrett wrote.

“All evidence suggests that another 4 (or as Trump has hinted — 8, or more?) years of Trump leadership will damage our democracy to such an extent, I’m obligated on behalf of shareholders to take any action I can to avoid it,” he continued. “I am confident our democracy (and Expensify) can survive a Biden presidency. I can’t say the same about Trump. It’s truly as simple as that.”

The email specifically accused Trump of taking anti-democratic actions to suppress the vote and dismisses counter arguments about voter fraud as unsupported by evidence.

“I wouldn’t be sending this email if this election were just about ‘normal issues’ — taxes, legislative priorities, health care, etc. But it isn’t. This election is a referendum on what limits, if any, we place on our elected leaders to govern us in a fair and representative way. This election will decide if widespread voter suppression is an acceptable governing tactic,” Barrett wrote.

In an interview with Business Insider, Barrett explained that Expensify employees contributed edits to the letter and before it was sent, a “supermajority” of employees voted to approved the content and hit the send button.

“We’ve always been a very strongly values-driven organization, and we talk a lot about what we stand for, what we believe in, what we’ll put our money and efforts behind,” Barrett told Business Insider.

In the email’s conclusion, Barrett invited those who disagree with him to share their thoughts in an email or to message him on Twitter to discuss.

Daniel M. Rothschild, the executive director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, sent Barrett one such reply, criticizing the Expensify CEO for politicizing his company and contributing to a “breakdown in social trust.”

“For a variety of reasons, America is becoming a low-trust society. Conspiracy theories abound, relationships are breaking down on partisan lines, and institutions that are critical to a free and open society are being undermined in many cases by their won actions that destroy trust,” Rothschild wrote in a letter to Barrett. “Your email contributes to this breakdown in social trust.”

Rothschild accused Barrett of violating the trust customers place in Expensify by giving them their personal financial information and contact information, which was then used for political purposes beyond the scope of a business arrangement.

“A healthy society cannot exist if its political tribalism invades every aspect of commercial, civic, and community life. Team Red and Team blue have gone from being who we vote for to, in many cases, lifestyle determinants. That is unhealthy to our civic fabric,” he said.

“And again, you email exacerbated this. Until last night, I saw Expensify as a pioneering company that made my life a lot easier,” Rothschild continued. “Now, I see Expensify as a Team Blue company.”

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