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.
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]
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