Republicans Allege Document Destruction At GM
Two Republican congressmen have written to GM CEO Ed Whitacre, asking him to halt the destruction of electronic documents as long as the automaker is owned by the government, reports the Detroit News [ Full letter in PDF here]. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) allege that documents destroyed by GM could have helped their House Oversight Committee investigation of GM’s decision to run its infamous “payback” ad, and shed light on government interference in day-to-day operations including influence over plant locations and a “secret agreement” on revised EPA standards. The congressmen write:
In light of these ongoing investigations, we are deeply disturbed to learn that GM is engaging in a continuous process of destroying documents relevant to the Committee’s oversight efforts
Though the congressmen admit that they have no proof that GM is deliberately concealing evidence, their position is that:
Until such time as U.S. taxpayers have been divested of all financial interests in GM, we request that you immediately stop destroying documents and begin preserving all records and communications referring or relating to GM’s status as a taxpayer-owned company, its relationship or interaction with government officials, and any issue that could be relevant to public policy
GM attorney Lucy Clark Dougherty recently revealed to the Oversight Committee that GM’s policy was to delete all electronic communication after 60 days and that the company did not have a backup system to retain copies.
I wonder if the 'secret agreement' on revised EPA standards relates to GM's savior, the 230 mpg Chevy Volt. The current EPA mileage test protocol is a misfit for such a vehicle. TTAC is that both GM and Nissan should be talking with the EPA about how to rate the Volt and Leaf for 'fuel' economy. But the results of those talks should provide an even playing field for vehicle-to-vehicle comparisons, not a biased methodology that favors the government-owned manufacturer. Or is their allegation referring to the 35.5 mpg CAFE rule for 2016, which will be exceptionally difficult to meet? Incidentally, do these fellows have no complaints about Chrysler's document handling?
Politicians are hypocrites? You don't say. Then again, GM trashing 60 day old emails is at the minimum, suspect, eh?
News bulletin to Politicians: You bought it - you OWN it. End Of Story. Quit whining and BOHICA!
Darrel Issa may be Congress's most machiavellian smear merchant. Look up his history; it's unsavory.