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Why Time-Share King David Siegel Thinks He Got Bush Elected

Westgate Resorts Chief Executive Officer David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, are seen at their home in Windermere, Fla.
Westgate Resorts Chief Executive Officer David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, are seen at their home in Windermere, Fla.Photograph by David Manning/Landov

A lot of people are wondering how much influence a few rich businessmen will have on the presidential election. The rich businessmen might be wondering, too. But mostly they’re not talking about it. There’s one exception: David Siegel, the founder of Westgate Resorts, the biggest private time-share developer in the country and the subject of the much-noted documentary The Queen of Versailles. In the movie, Siegel says that he was personally responsible for the election of George W. Bush in 2000. He doesn’t elaborate. But he did when I interviewed him in February in Orlando. (My story, in which I didn’t delve into the election, is here.)

Siegel doesn’t see why he should keep quiet about his ambitions or accomplishments or much of anything else. He was building what could be the biggest home in the country when he agreed to let filmmaker Lauren Greenfield document the process. Then came the recession. Siegel’s business suffered and he stopped construction of the house, which he and his wife, Jackie, call Versailles. But he let Greenfield keep filming. Just before the movie premiered at Sundance, he sued her for defamation. The case is in the courts. The movie is in theaters. (Among the most recent pieces to note Siegel’s kingmaker claims is this one.)