All as of about 9:30 this morning, these search come up empty or return nothing relevant at the Associated Press’s main national site:
Here are a few developments in news the AP won’t cover.
LightSquared — at The HIll (“LightSquared doubles size of its lobbying team in 2011″):
LightSquared, the wireless telecom firm facing Republican complaints that it has benefited from political ties to the White House, has significantly boosted its lobbying this year.
The company has more than doubled the number of lobbying firms on its payroll, from four to nine K Street shops, in the first half of 2011.
LightSquared has already spent $830,000 on lobbying in the first six months of year, and is on pace to more than double its K Street expenditures of $695,000 in 2010, according to lobbying disclosure records.
… The company is developing high-speed cellphone service using a network of satellites and land-based cell towers, and has been in a lobbying fight with the GPS industry.
After tests found that LightSquared’s network did interfere with GPS devices — a big concern for the U.S. military — the FCC decided the company would not get final approval for its network until the issue is resolved.
Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared’s executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy, told The Hill that GPS device-makers have decided to lobby heavily against LightSquared after it was found its network could interfere with their devices. He and LightSquared argue the problem has to do with GPS systems, not LightSquared.
Really? The GPS systems have been around for, what, close to a decade, and it’s their fault that their systems interferes with LightSquared’s?
On Beverly Perdue, many, including BizzyBlog commenters, have made the connection to following item former Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag wrote in the New Republic:
To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic
Relative to Ford, there’s this from Daniel Howes at the Detroit News yesterday (bolds are mine):
Ford Pulls Its Ads on Bailouts
For the only Detroit automaker that “didn’t take the money” of the federal auto bailouts, Ford Motor Co. keeps paying a price for its comparative success and self-reliant turnaround.
There’s no help from American taxpayers to help lighten its debt load, giving crosstown rivals comparatively better credit ratings and a financial edge Ford is working diligently to erase all on its own.
There’s no clause barring a strike by hourly workers amid this fall’s national contract talks with the United Auto Workers — a by-product of the taxpayer-financed bailout that General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC retain until 2015.
And there’s no assurance the Dearborn automaker can use the commercially advantageous fact that it didn’t “take the money” proffered by the Obama Treasury Department and use it in TV ads angling to sell cars and trucks. Not if the campaign takes a whack at its Detroit rivals and suggests that Ford no longer supports the Obama administration bailouts it backed in public statements and sworn congressional testimony.
As part of a campaign featuring “real people” explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named “Chris” says he “wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” according the text of the ad, launched in early September.
“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”
That’s what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.
The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.
Of course, everyone’s circling the wagons now: “Ford, White House both deny pressure to pull advertisement criticizing government bailout.” Sure, Mr. Howes has nothing better to do than make up stories out of thin air.
This is how freedom slowly vanishes:
- Businesses decide that doing business with the state beats trying to achieve legitimate success in the open market.
- Thugs and thugs-in-waiting constantly test the waters to see how much thuggery and lawlessness the public will tolerate.
- Businesses trying to succeed in the open market must constantly calculate just how far they can push the political class (and avoid regulatory visibility) before crossing the line.
This is not what our Founders envisioned. They also wouldn’t have expected the nation’s most dominant news organization to constantly look the other way as it all unfolds.