UAW Bonuses Add Insult to Injury

Last night, NLPC President Peter Flaherty criticized GM’s bonuses to United Auto Workers while the company is stil deep in the hole to taxpayers. He appeared on CNN’s Situation Room. Here’s a transcript:

Candy Crowley: New evidence that General Motors has made a big financial comeback after taxpayers bailed out the auto giant a few years ago. The company proudly announced it has posted record profits, but critics aren’t happy about the way GM is spending that money. Here’s our Lisa Sylvester.

Lisa Sylvester: Hi there, Candy. Well, all three U.S. automakers are back from the brink. GM had a very profitable year in 2011 with its North American operations. Now the question is, though, should those profits be shared with the workers, even though U.S. taxpayers are still on the hook for the company?

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Lisa Sylvester (voice-over): November 2008, the CEOs of the big three … Read More ➡

Luxury Carmaker Fisker Looking for More Taxpayer Money

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Gov’t Conflict of Interest on Chevy Volt Probe?

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica last night discussed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation of the Chevy Volt fires with Gerri Willis on the Fox Business Network. Here’s a transcript:

Gerri Willis:  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, says the Chevy Volt, the controversial electric car the Obama administration has touted as a major step forward, step forward towards a green future is perfectly safe to drive. But does the government have too much of a vested interest in the Volt?  Joining us now is Mark Modica from Philadelphia, of the National Legal and Policy Center associate fellow. Welcome to the show, Mark. It’s great to have you here. Look, we can trust NHTSA on this, right? I mean, they are a federal agency. Do you disagree?

Mark Modica:  Yes, considering that their … Read More ➡

Consumers Should Select Cars, Not Government

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica says it is time to end tax credits and subsidies for electric vehicles. He is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network on Friday, January 6. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto:  Meanwhile, a Fox Business Alert that is going to be a topical issue, drivers paying more to fill up. But it doesn’t look like they’re getting fed up with the gas guzzlers. Gasoline now at its highest price ever for the start of the year. It’s still rising. But look what else is rising. Sales of really big vehicles like the Dodge Durango, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so much so that Chrysler is adding, adding over a thousand jobs to build them. Former GM bondholder Mark Modica says the car buyers are going for the gas guzzlers. So D.C. should stop fueling its green car agenda?  Mark, you do raise an … Read More ➡

GM Recalls Chevy Volt

Last night, NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser discussed the Chevy Volt recall with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto:  …Forget Volt sales and that they are far from catching fire. Apparently the cars really are in danger of catching fire. GM is recalling nearly 8,000 Chevy Volts for what they’re calling enhancements. I actually hate it when people do that but that’s what they’re calling them, enhancements, aimed at preventing the battery from bursting into flames. The National Legal and Policy Center‘s Paul Chesser says that this recall should be a wake-up call for the government to just stop this nonsense. Just get out of this whole subsidizing, tax crediting, everything having to do with this stuff, right?

Paul Chesser:  Neil, you’re not supposed to call it a recall. GM’s not calling it a recall. The government’s not calling it a … Read More ➡

Taxpayer-Subsidized Electric Vehicles Are a Bust

NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser was interviewed last night on Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. Paul asserted that electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt have failed in the marketplace, despite massive taxpayer subsidies. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto: Well as you can tell, I have been somewhat subdued in my criticism of electric cars, especially the Volt.  But despite my downplaying Americans seem to be plugged in to the fact that plug ins are not in.  I want you to check out this USA Today headline, that’s right, copying me, questioning if electric cars are losing their spark.  Of course it is a misleading headline since they never had a spark.  But I digress because you have lost me and USA Today, well I think that it is fair to say you lost the … Read More ➡

Countrywide Probe is Chance for Ethics Committee to do ‘Something Significant’

Edolphus Towns photoIt appears that four current members of the United States House of Representatives received loans via the VIP program of Countrywide Financial Corporation. Once again the motives of the former giant mortgage institution have been brought into question. Where they trying to peddle influence with these loans?

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and he has been investigating the VIP program for a number years. Issa reportedly learned about the four loans after issuing a subpoena to Bank of America. Countrywide was purchased by Bank of America in 2008 and was at the forefront of the financial crisis that came to a head that year. At one point Countrywide was the nation’s largest mortgage lender.

In 2009 the Security and Exchange Commission brought a fraud suit against a number of former executives of Countrywide including its former chief executive Angelo Mozilo. … Read More ➡

Chevy Volt Sales Figures Inflated With Fleet Purchases

Last night on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News Channel, NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica discussed disappointing sales of the Chevy Volt, and GM’s apparent goosing of sales figures through fleet sales. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto: Ten thousand Volts. That was the sales jolt that GM was hoping for this year. But with less than two weeks to go, lets just say that this puppy may be about to short circuit big time. Volt watcher Mark Modica says the numbers may be even worse than they appear. They are going to be well shy of that right, Mark?

Mark Modica (National Legal and Policy Center): Correct.

Neil Cavuto: What is the real story?

Mark Modica: Well, not only are they not hitting the goal, but it seems like a lot of these purchases, once again are being purchased by taxpayers, who through federal funds are giving … Read More ➡

Blago Gets 14 Years; Ethics Committee Must Now Act on Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. photoYesterday, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison for, among other things, attempting to “sell” the US Senate seat that was once held by President Barack Obama. Blagojevich’s punishment comes on the heels of the U.S. House Ethics Committee’s decision to continue its investigation into Congressman Jesse Jackson’s role in the same scheme.

On December 2, the House Ethics Committee announced that it was continuing its investigation of Jackson for his alleged public campaign to “buy” the Senate seat in question. It is alleged by investigators that Jackson may have made unlawful use of his congressional office for these political activities as House rules prohibit the use of official resources for any political purposes. The investigation of Congressman has been underway for over two years.

Congressman Jackson, the son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, is in his 9th term in the United States House … Read More ➡

Grassley: FCC Stonewalling on LightSquared Scandal Documents

Grassley photoHas Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), met his match in Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)? Genachowski, a buddy of President Obama from Harvard Law School, has brought a culture of wheeling and dealing to the FCC, on whose decisions billions of telecom dollars often ride.

Grassley says that he will hold up two nominations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) until the Commission provides documents that he has requested relating to LightSquared, a broadband company owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund.

LightSquared is at the center of a scandal involving accusations made first by NLPC in February that political influence and campaign contributions played a role in the FCC granting LightSquared a waiver allowing it to deploy a national 4G wireless network.

LightSquared is headed by billionaire Phil Falcone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Soros Fund Management is a major investor in Harbinger.… Read More ➡