Although this is not outlawed in a strictly legal sense, it's a profoundly asinine, politically tone-deaf action by GM's management, particularly when you look at who's supposed to be getting the dough:
The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry's legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).Yep, all the people that helped the Obama administration illegally screw GM's bondholders and reward its rapacious unions while "saving" this bankrupt corporate relic, all courtesy of money coming from you and me. As if we had it to give in the first place.
Oh, yeah, Josh Mitchell's WSJ Online piece does mention that a few bucks were tossed in the direction of Republican House Whip Eric Cantor. Big deal. Cantor should take a stand and give it back. The Dems never will.
We'll perhaps never know who initiated this generous donation out of taxpayer pockets. GM's endless parade of loser-executives has rarely been cited for its intelligence, political sensitivity, or business acumen. It's my guess that beleaguered Democrats--particularly those like Dingell, who could be in real trouble in Michigan this fall--sorta kinda made this $$ suggestion themselves, maybe via two or three levels of subordinates on either side. A little like Nancy Pelosi "suggested" that DC Representative-for-Life Eleanor Norton, hit up ask her old donors to help out the Party itself since Norton doesn't really need the dough. (Audio and story here.)
It still galls me when I recollect, years after the fact, how Ohio's then-Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH!) sternly lectured Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Ed Meese how he must avoid "even the appearance" of impropriety.** When it comes to the appearance of impropriety or actual impropriety itself, however, Democrats apparently don't give a rat's derrière. Advice from a Democrat is always for everyone else. The condescension of these people is infuriating.
Meanwhile, except for this piece in the Journal and my comments in this blog, I imagine that the MSM Journolistas ignore this "impropriety" entirely and remain fixated instead on Christine O'Donnel's youthful flirtations with witchcraft. (Maybe they should throw out their own kids' Harry Potter books while they're at it. Who knows what might come up in, say, the 2030 election campaign.)
UPDATE: Well, Don Surber actually noted this news item as well, and has a particularly pithy comment:
Paying off politicians is cheaper than paying back taxpayers.**Metzenbaum postscript for those who care: Having made a fortune from investing in parking lots, multimillionare Metzenbaum was ensnared in a Washington DC parking lot scandal just a couple of weeks after he delivered his stern, sanctimonious lecture to Meese. Metzenbaum passed away a couple of years ago in Florida where he'd retired after leaving the Senate. This may not seem like a big deal but it is. Ohio has the most ridiculously low inheritance tax threshhold in the United States. Leaving an estate of just $383,000 (or thereabouts) puts your estate in probate court in the Buckeye State. Like the despicable John Kerry, who docks his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid Massachusetts taxes, Metzenbaum made sure that, as a resident of Florida, his own estate escaped Ohio's confiscatory inheritance tax system, even as his former constituents continue to pay, pay, pay.