Bailout Watch 18: The Great White Lobbyist Hunt

bailout watch 18 the great white lobbyist hunt

I'm not sure what's scarier: a lobbyist who's a Hunter S. Thompson fan, or a lobbyist who's a Hunter S. Thompson fan who thinks that bumping into Sean Penn at the Democratic National Convention and saying "Oh, you're Sean Penn" is a "gonzo" moment. In any case, Greg Martin, Director, Policy and Washington Communications uses the FastLane blog to make one thing perfectly clear: "This [federal loan program] program is not a bailout but an incentive for the auto industry and its suppliers. Its purpose is to get advanced technology vehicles on the road as quickly as possible in order to help the country meet its energy goals–and that’s exactly what we’re going to use it for." As I've stated in the last GM Death Watch, that's a distinction without a difference. Anyway, Greg had a "compelling product story to tell" the Denver pols, swanning around in eco-friendly cars that no one's buying, listening to BS about cars they can't buy. "People were surprised at the variety of advanced technology vehicles we offer, and there’s a lot more of that where that comes from…from 20 hybrid models in 2012 to the Chevy Volt to hydrogen fuel cells, I wonder if our engineers and technical types ever sleep." In the spirit of Hunter, may I suggest Black Beauties? Or point out that Greg's rhetoric sounds a lot like Richard Nixon's defense of his Vietnam war policy? "Under ideal circumstances, we know what our challenge is. Unfortunately, factors that are external to the auto industry compound that challenge (in other words, the current economic climate is really ugly out there). That’s why this existing program can really help us to keep moving full speed ahead." Fear and Loathing Greg? Just so.

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  • Shaker Shaker on Sep 02, 2008

    What effect would [s] a bailout [/s]loan guarantees have on GM's ability (desire?) to go Chapter 11 in order to shed its dealer network and [s]abandon [/s]renegotiate its labor contracts? And how about executive compensation? There are a lot of strings here.

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Sep 02, 2008

    shaker: What effect would a bailout loan guarantees have on GM’s ability (desire?) to go Chapter 11 in order to shed its dealer network and abandon renegotiate its labor contracts? And how about executive compensation? There are a lot of strings here. At the moment, there are no strings here. Nor are their likely to be the sort you're thinking about. Which is precisely the problem. Well, ONE of the problems. [See: Eddy's editorial Aporkalypse Now: The Chrysler Comparison]

  • SPPPP Just an observation - at $1.66 billion for a target 1,800 buses, that's $922,222.22 per bus. I know they will need chargers, but still ... doesn't that seem pretty un-ambitious? Couldn't they put more than 20,000 Ford E-transit electric vans on the streets for the same price?
  • Kosmo The power figures for the 3.0 diesel are impressive, especially compared to the 3.0 diesel in our 2007 Sprinter.(Ralph Nader enters room) How do those STEEL bumpers affect crash safety?
  • Kosmo Magnum Wagon reboot would be the schizzle!
  • Redapple2 Guys. 80 K? Who buys these? I mean professionals- Doctors Lawyers, Engineers, Coder beta boy whatever, have the money but dont buy the cave man, bro dozer. The red necks that want them make peanuts. So>? Redneck contractors buy them? Those that can write it off thru the business (and burn company gas)
  • EBFlex What a colossal waste of money. But this installed administration has yet to spend one cent on something that is actually useful and actually leads to some progress. But apparently this is just what we need….a bunch of extremely overpriced but short ranged busses. It’s amazing that all our problems are solved that they have time to waste money on these little pet projects.