Mitt Romney famously called Tesla Motors a “loser” company during his run for president. He lost, of course, and Tesla is by any measure winning. And so we see would-be presidential candidates lining up behind the Silicon Valley carmaker as its fight against auto dealers becomes a potential breakout issue in the 2016 election.
In dispute are bans several states have against Tesla stores selling cars directly from the company instead of through third-party dealers. The most recent ban was enacted in New Jersey with the support of Gov. Chris Christie, a possible contender for the GOP nomination. That prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Christie rival, to heartily defend Tesla’s direct sales model.
“It’s an established product,” Rubio told CNBC. “Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need, especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.”
Perhaps even more surprising was the love shown by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the once and possibly future presidential hopeful whose oil-rich state bars employees in Tesla’s two showrooms from even telling potential customers how much the Model S costs. On second thought, maybe it isn’t at all surprising. Texas is a leading candidate for Tesla’s planned $5 billion battery factory, which would bring thousands of jobs to the state. Perry said Texas should revisit its ban on direct sales of Teslas.
Admitting the problem is always the first step in any rehabilitation process. And in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election, Republicans across the country were doing just that. Among the GOP’s elected officials, strategists, and activists, there was widespread acknowledgment that the Republican Party suffered from a disease that would not quickly be cured.
Nowhere was this admission clearer than inside the Republican National Committee, where Chairman Reince Priebus appointed a five-person task force—the Growth and Opportunity Project—to identify the party’s foremost problems and explore potential solutions. As this RNC autopsy was underway, we at National Journal conducted our own post-mortem, speaking with several members of that RNC panel, along with dozens more Republicans nationwide. The result was “A 12-Step Program for the Republican Party,” prescribing a road to rehabilitation for the GOP.
The premise of Sirota’s piece is that John Arnold, through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, is influencing the content of “Pension Peril” through a $3.5 million grant; further, it alleges that WNET engaged in corruption by accepting the grant.
While it is true that Mr. Arnold is an advocate of pension reform, I thought it would be interesting to note his other associations — including those of PandoDaily’s financial backers.
According to the Grants page at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, ProPublica, Inc. was given a grant in the amount of $2 million for the term 2013-2015. ProPublica also notes the Laura and John Arnold Foundation on their supporter page. It should be noted that ProPublica has also been covering pensions, including news reports and investigations.
A search at ProPublica shows that “John Arnold” and “Laura and John Arnold Foundation” are only revealed in the Supporters page. There are no disclosures of Laura and John Arnold Foundation funding in any of the pension articles at ProPublica.
On January 16, 2012, Gigaom featured an article regarding PandoDaily’s start-up financing, “Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily launches with $2.5 million in funding.”
The company is being funded by a $2.5 million investment from some of the most well known investors in Silicon Valley and some of the top seed funds. Investors in PandoDaily are - Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hseih (Zappos), Zach Nelson (NetSuite), Andrew Anker, Chris Dixon (FounderCollective), Saul Klein (IndexVentures), Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital)…
In 2012, Lacy founded technology news site PandoDaily with a reported $2.5m investment from investors including Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hsieh, David Sze, Jim Breyer, Reid Hoffman, Chris Dixon and Josh Kopelman. The site consists of a daily technology blog and a monthly event series entitled “PandoMonthly”.
Peter Thiel - Libertarian and Republican Donor:
Venture capitalist and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel. Was a co-founder of PayPal and later CEO. Mr. Thiel would also go on to support Meg Whitman for her unsuccesful bid as governor of California ($25,900).
Meg Whitman was a partner with Pierre Omidyar at eBay — as CEO she purchased PayPal from Thiel et al in 2010. Thiel was also a trader for Credit Suisse and speech writer for William Bennett.
• Largest contributor to “Club for Growth” in sum of $1 million.
• Co-authored “The Diversity Myth: ‘Multiculturalism’ and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford” (1995) with David O. Sacks.
• Libertarian objectivist.
• $3.9 million to “Endorse Liberty” supporting Ron Paul for president (2012).
• Private meeting with Rand Paul — “the future of the Liberty Movement.”
• Endorsed Ron Paul for president in 2007.
• Contributed to McCain/Palin 2012.
• $1.7 million Ron Paul Super-Pac in 2012.
• Helped fund James O’Keefe’s “Taxpayers Clearing House” in 2009.
• Multiple contributions to Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.
Peter Thiel’s Republican Party political candidate donations:
Rep. James E. Rogan, Don Stenberg, Sen. John Thune Douglas Forrester, Rep. Robin Hayes, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Sen. Lamar Alexander, State Sen. Dick Monteith, Rep. Lee Terry, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Rep. Dan Lungren, Rep. Bob Beauprez, Rep. Mike Simpson, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Mary Bono, Gov. Butch Otter, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Nancy Johnson, Rep. Scott Garrett, Rep. Tim Johnson, Rep. Bill Thomas, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Jim Talent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, Rep. Rob Simmons, Rep. Jon Porter, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Rep. Ed Royce, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Rep. Bob Schaffer, John Neely Kennedy, Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. Mike Coffman, Rep. Eric Cantor, John Raese, Dino Rossi, Ryan Brumberg, Sen. Rand Paul, Randy Altschuler, Rep. Justin Amash, State Sen. Richard Tisei, Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Ted Cruz, Josh Mandel, and Sen. Orrin Hatch.
For a more detailed look at Peter Thiel’s political contributions click here.
Peter Thiel “has worked as a derivatives trader at Credit Suisse Financial Products, a securities lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell, and a speechwriter for former education secretary William J. Bennett.”
Marc Andreessen - Romney/Ryan Supporter:
Marc Andreessen is another venture capitalist millionaire (not a billionaire as Theil is). Andreessen was the founder of Mosaic and Netscape. In addition to helping start PandoDaily, his investments include Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and others. Andreessen serves on the board of eBay (see Whitman, Omidyar, et al).
While he supported Barack Obama in 2008, Mr. Andreessen flipped in 2012 to support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
He’s contributed $15,000 to Ryan Prosperity Action, Inc.; Cantor Victory Fund; Romney for President, Inc.; Scott Brown; over $50,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and $30,5000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In 2012, Business Insider reported:
He has contributed $100,000 to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign via a SuperPAC…
…Andreessen says he supports Romney because he is a “dyed-in-the-wool” businessman who understand that “regulations” get in the way of business.
Andreessen says he used to support Democrats - like Clinton/Gore, for example - but “I turned 40 last year and so I figured it was time to make the switch.”
The amount Republican super-donor Peter Thiel and newly minted Republican Marc Andreessen infused into PandoDaily remains unknown. No attempt was made to contact any of the individuals in this story. What remains clear is that PandoDaily and David Sirota have accused WNET and the Arnold Foundation with corruption for having the latter provide grant money for the series, “Pension Peril.”
The question remains, how can WNET be accused of corruption when ProPublica, who also cover pensions, is the recipient of $2 million from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and gets away unnoticed?
Update and of further interest.
PayPal Founder Peter Thiel Continues to Tout Anti-Government Manifesto
Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report, Summer 2012, Issue Number: 146
“I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” Thiel wrote in a 2009 manifesto published by the libertarian Cato Institute. “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.” Bemoaning the fate of the “smartest libertarians” who, he claims, were so bummed out by the state of capitalism that they “escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it,” he outlined a vision of the future free from the quixotic desires of the poor, stupid, and X-chromosomed among us.
We are about 5 weeks away from the release of Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America by Dan Balz of The Washington Post, but the revisionist history being sold by the Romney family is already making its way into the press.
During a Christmas holiday trip to Hawaii in 2010, the Romney family held a vote. Should Romney, who lost the 2008 presidential primary, run again? Ten of 12 family members voted no — including the candidate. Only Tagg and Ann Romney, Romney’s wife, voted yes.
That’s right…he and 9 other family members were against the idea less than 23 months before the election. Please ignore all of the money being collected for his run at this point…as well as his No Apology book being prepared for paperback release with the bit defending his state-level healthcare program edited in the wake of Obamacare.
Mitt Romney’s reluctance about a race lingered for months after the family vote in Hawaii, Tagg Romney explained.
“Even up until the day before he made the announcement, he was looking for excuses to get out of it,” Tagg Romney is quoted as saying in Collision 2012. “If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside.” (link)
Tagg wants the world to know that his dad just couldn’t think of ANYONE else who could handle the job. So you see he had no choice but to go against his own wishes and those of the vast majority of his family.
We will apparently also learn:
He didn’t realize that his call for “self-deportation” of immigrants who are in the country illegally would be damaging. Romney told Balz that he believed his call for self-deportation was the “compassionate approach.”
On his plan for self-deportation, Romney said, “I still don’t know whether it’s seen as being punitive in the Hispanic community. I mean, I know it is in the Anglo community … I didn’t recognize how negative and punitive that term would be seen by the voting community.” (link)
I guess he was counting on Hispanics seeing the positive and not at ALL punitive side of deportation!
It seems like we will have most of the best nuggets from this book before it actually hits the shelves…but once it does, I will be going straight to the index to see if there is anything there about who suggested Mitt get the bizarre looking tan he sported on Univision:
“When 500,000 Latino citizens turn 18 every year and become potential voters, Republicans seem hellbent on lining up and jumping off a demographic cliff,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in a recent speech. “As a Democrat, I should probably just stand back and watch.”
This is why Immigration reform will not pass the House this session and the cycnical reason is that Democrats have no reason, beyond moral, to help Boehner pass it and after the latest fiasco with the Farm Bill he won’t trust them enough to do so. Game out all the various scenarios:
- A majority of House Republicans would have to vote for it in order for Boehner to invoke the Hastert Rule and pass it with Replican suport. Sure, that can happen.
- Boehener can break the Hastert Rule and allow it to pass with a majority of Democrats voting for it and just enough Republicans in order to do so. But that would depend upon him trusting the Democrats who promised to vote for it to do so when the time came; just like with the Farm Bill. And just like the Farm Bill, in order to get any significant Republican votes, additional darconian amendents to the Senate Bill will have to be made. So the Democrats in the House could reasonably argue (but really Cynically) that pulling thier votes at the last minute and leaving Boehner and every Republican who voted or publcially stated that they would support the Bill, with their asses hanging in the wind for every batshit crazy Tee Bagger to take a bite out of.
Immigration Reform is on hold until 2020 and the Republicans are going to have this, as well as Abortion restrictions, opposing a law to fix the Voting Rights Act that SCOTUS will overturn parts of, and oppostion to LGBT Rights in all the states that they now control as a result of other eventual SCOTUS decisions, hanging around thier necks like the dead bird in the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in all elections until them!
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party’s road map for winning presidential elections looks hazier than ever as GOP lawmakers and others reject what many considered obvious lessons from Mitt Romney’s loss last year.
House Republicans are rebelling against the key recommendation of a party-sanctioned post-mortem: embrace “comprehensive immigration reform” or suffer crippling losses among Hispanic voters in 2016 and beyond.
Widespread rejection of warnings from establishment Republicans goes beyond that, however. Many activists say the party simply needs to articulate its conservative principles more skillfully, without modifying any policies, even after losing the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.
Despite Romney’s poor showing among female voters, House Republicans this past week invited renewed Democratic taunts of a “war against women” by passing the most restrictive abortion measure in years.
Despite corporate fears of the economic damage that would result from a default on U.S. obligations, GOP lawmakers are threatening to block an increase in the government’s borrowing limit later this year if President Barack Obama won’t accept spending cuts he staunchly opposes.
Republicans have lots of time to sort out their priorities and pick a nominee before 2016. They may need it.
Party activists appear far from agreed on even basic questions, such as whether to show a more conservative face to voters versus a moderate face, and whether to seek a libertarian-leaning, tea party-backed nominee as opposed to a more traditional Republican such as Romney.
“There are pretty vigorous debates going on within the party,” said Kevin Madden, a top Romney adviser.
Today, Stan Veuger of AEI, a recently minted PhD apparently trying to make a name for himself, presents yet another theory. Tea party groups, he says, presented an “existential threat” to Obama’s reelection, and it turns out that failing to approve their tax-exempt status “would have been an effective campaign strategy going into the 2012 election cycle.” His paper examines how rainfall affected attendance at tea party rallies, and how that in turn affected Republican turnout in the 2010 election. If you then assume that 2012 was just like 2010, and that jitters over tax status dramatically affected tea party effectiveness, it turns out that Obama stole the 2012 election from Romney! Specifically, “had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5 - 8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”
Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told conservatives Friday that Obamacare helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, decrying the “empty promises” of the law that hadn’t yet been implemented.
“This was our challenge that Mitt Romney and I had in this last election,” Ryan said in a speech at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, DC. “We had to argue against the promise and the rhetoric of President Obama. The great soaring rhetoric, all of the empty promises.”
“Remember in his first term, in his first two years, he passed his program but didn’t implement his program,” he said. “Now in the second term, we are seeing it implemented and it’s pretty darn ugly. We are seeing the assault on our liberties.”
The Republican congressman from Wisconsin and House Budget Committee chairman went on to argue that the Affordable Care Act was an example of “big government assaulting our First Amendment rights” when it comes to religious liberty.
He cited the mandate under the law that employer health insurance plans include contraception without co-payments for female employees — a rule that was announced early in 2012 and became an issue in the presidential campaign.
“Obamacare says that if you believe in the social teaching of your Church, if you disagree, you know, with abortifacients, abortion-inducing drugs, it doesn’t matter,” Ryan said. “This is what the federal government is demanding.” (The rule he was referring to involves contraceptives, which prevent — not terminate — pregnancies.)
An interesting article about the supposed conflict between the moderates and the wingnuts in the GOP.
The problem is Mitt Romney isn’t Michael Dukakis. Romney was never accepted by the base of the party the way Dukakis was. The result is that Romney’s loss hasn’t caused the GOP to rethink what they are doing.
As the article noted, after Dukakis Democrats checked their hearts. After Romney the Republicans checked their rolodexes.
Mitt Romney is still clinging to his skewed polls and claiming that if Hurricane Sandy wouldn’t have hit when it did, and he would have known about the IRS scandal, he would have won the election.
Romney blamed Hurricane Sandy right along with the fact that his 47% comments were off the record for his defeat, “That was not a statement, if you will. It was taken off the record. Nonetheless, it did not reflect my views. I said it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. But surely, that didn’t help me, and there were other things that didn’t help my campaign either. Obviously, a hurricane with a week to go before the election stalled our campaign.”
CNN’s Gloria Borger asked Romney if he blamed Chris Christie. The former presidential nominee answered by blaming the timing of Hurricane Sandy, “I wish the hurricane hadn’t have happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to be presidential and to be out showing sympathy for folks. That’s one of the advantages of incumbency. But, you know, you don’t look back and worry about each little thing and how could that have been different.”
Notice that Romney doesn’t say that he wishes that hurricane would have never hit, and people wouldn’t have lost their lives, loved ones, and property. Still as selfish as ever, Mitt Romney is most upset that Sandy struck during the homestretch of the presidential campaign. It never seems to occur to Romney that his inability to show compassion and sympathy for others is what really hurt him with voters.