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Congressmen Ask GM Not to Destroy Potentially Damaging Documents

Witch hunt or effective oversight?

by on Jun.11, 2010

GM CEO Ed Whitacre has appeared in several controversial commercials for the automaker, the latest triggering a Congressional investigation.

Two top Republican lawmakers have accused General Motors of destroying documents involved in a government investigation related to its 2009 federal bailout.

In a letter sent to GM CEO Ed Whitacre Jr., California Congressman Darrell Issa and Ohio’s Jim Jordan claim the carmaker has been destroying e-mails, documents and other records related to a recent TV commercial in which GM announced it was paying off its government loan.

In fact, the automaker used surplus funds from its $50 billion federal bailout to pay back $6.7 billion considered a loan from the U.S. Treasury.  The rest of the money was provided as an equity stake in post-bankruptcy General Motors, and any payback won’t take place until after the company’s planned public stock offering – which likely won’t take place until 2011, at the earliest.

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The commercial generated extensive blowback for GM, and has triggered investigations on Capitol Hill.

“In light of these ongoing investigations, we are deeply disturbed to learn that GM is engaging in a continuous process of destroying documents to deliberately prevent (lawmakers) from obtaining information,” the two Congressman stated in a letter first obtained by the Detroit News.  Issa and Jordan went on to warn that the further destruction of documents would be considered “evidence of criminal misconduct,” something they said they would take to the Justice Department.


U.S. Congressional Hearings on Toyota Postponed

Unlike the Post Office, snow shuts down taxpayer supported Congress and its Toyota Sudden Acceleration Hearings.

by on Feb.09, 2010

Snowed out!

Chairman Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) have rescheduled tomorrow’s  hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform titled: “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?”

The hearing will now take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00 a.m.

The latest move, likely not the result of behind the scenes maneuvering in lobbyist-dominated Washington, gives the beleaguered Japanese automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more time to prepare for what will be grueling questioning over their conduc, contradictory statements and lack of action on safety matters involving unintended acceleration, sticking gas pedals and failed brakes on a growing number of now  millions of Toyota  and Lexus vehicles.

However, time cuts both ways, as it will give the U.S. Senate a chance to pre-empt the House in the interim. Thus far, no Senate hearings have been scheduled, but the snow storm, and storm of controversy surrounding Toyota creates a political opportunity here.

Shoveling Snow, and other Emissions!

The House hearing, one of two scheduled,  when it comes off  is also supposed to “gain a better understanding of the nature of the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles and what should be done about it.”

“Due to the inclement weather set to impact the DC Metropolitan area tonight and tomorrow, Ranking Member Issa and I have agreed to reschedule the hearing on the Toyota gas pedal recall,” said Chairman Towns. “I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on February 24th.”    (more…)