Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kay defends herself on auto company micromanagement...

Kay has been taking a lot of heat lately for meddling in the day to day affairs of the automobile companies, so she is defending her actions (link). Excerpt follows...
Senator Mike Johanns, Republican of Nebraska, said the administration, by virtue of its ownership in the automakers, appears “heartless and indifferent” as so many workers lose their jobs.

“Unfortunately it is the taxpayers’ money that you are largely managing,” said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, a state where 50 Chrysler dealers were closed, “and I just think we have a requirement not only to help the people where plants are closed but the many communities and dealers that are getting shafted.”

But Mr. Bloom said decisions on plant closing and dealer terminations, though necessary, were made by company executives and not government officials.
She also has a video up from the hearing...

She makes some great points. The closings of these dealerships does seem very suspicious and politically driven...

Kay added (link)...
"There are profitable dealers that are being closed," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). "And I still don't understand -- when the dealer buys the car, the dealer provides the real estate, the dealer provides the showroom and the repairs, and rents the signs, how is it a drag on the company?"
It does seem like a lot more Texas dealerships were closed down than dealerships in states in all out depressions.

Here is a timeline of Kay's efforts in the Chrysler issue, although it looks like the effort has been for nothing and Chrysler is doing what it wants to do (link)...


May 13, 2009

Chrysler sent letter to dealers informing them of their termination.

May 21, 2009

Senator Hutchison offered amendment to emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill that stated, “No funds shall be expended from the Treasury to an automanufacturer which has notified a dealership that it will be terminated without providing at least 60 days for that dealership to wind down its operations and sell itsinventory.”

Senator Hutchison’s amendment acquired thirty-nine bipartisan co-sponsors.

At the close of debate, Senator Hutchison refused to yield back time, effectively holding up final vote of the Supplemental Appropriations Bill until Chrysler President and CEO William Press assured her that Chrysler was taking the appropriate measures to help automotive dealers across the country.

Ultimately, Mr. Press promised in this letter to work with rejected dealers to move inventory.

Senator Hutchison then announced on the U.S. Senate floor that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation intended to hold a hearing onGM and Chrysler’s termination of franchise agreements nationwide.

May 22, 2009

Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation respectively, sent Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli and GM CEO Fritz Henderson a letter informing them of their intent to hold a hearing focusing on their companies’ termination of franchise agreements and its impact on consumers and automotive dealers.

June 3, 2009

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held hearing on GM and Chrysler down sizing.

Senator Hutchison questioned Mr. Press about dealership closures at hearing.

Statement from Senator Hutchison on GM and Chrysler dealership closures

Source: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

One of Rick's peeps told me that Kay has a lot of nerve attacking Rick's leadership with regard to a special session, when she failed miserably at trying to save Chrysler dealerships in Texas. I wonder why Rick's peeps aren't more on the attack? I guess they are trying to keep the race about Rick rather than give Kay more press by attacking her on a daily basis.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.