Senate grills Automaker CEO's on why they flew into DC on private jets

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Xicculus, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Xicculus

    Xicculus OT Supporter

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    Big Three auto CEOs flew private jets to ask for taxpayer money

    * Story Highlights
    * NEW: Sen. Reid cancels Thursday's planned test vote on bailout measure
    * Lawmaker: Flying jet to hearing like going to "soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo"
    * Rep. Brad Sherman asked CEOs whether they would fly back commercial
    * Company representatives pointed to safety, travel policies as reasons for flying jets

    By Josh Levs
    CNN

    (CNN) -- Some lawmakers lashed out at the CEOs of the Big Three auto companies Wednesday for flying private jets to Washington to request taxpayer bailout money.

    "There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

    "It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."

    He added, "couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."

    The executives -- Alan Mulally of Ford, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Richard Wagoner of GM -- were seeking support for a $25 billion loan package. Later Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reversed plans to hold a test vote on the measure.

    An aide told CNN that Reid decided to cancel the test vote when it became clear the measure would fall well short of the 60 votes needed. Reid did, however, make a procedural move that could allow a vote on a compromise, which several senators from auto-producing states were feverishly trying to craft.

    At Wednesday's hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, pressed the private-jet issue, asking the three CEOs to "raise their hand if they flew here commercial."

    "Let the record show, no hands went up," Sherman said. "Second, I'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up."

    The executives did not specifically respond to those remarks. In their testimony, they said they are streamlining business operations in general. VideoWatch Nardelli ask for help »

    When contacted by CNN, the three auto companies defended the CEOs' travel as standard procedure.

    Like many other major corporations, all three have policies requiring their CEOs to travel in private jets for safety reasons.

    "Making a big to-do about this when issues vital to the jobs of millions of Americans are being discussed in Washington is diverting attention away from a critical debate that will determine the future health of the auto industry and the American economy," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said in a statement.

    Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish said in a statement, "while always being mindful of company costs, all business travel requires the highest standard of safety for all employees."

    Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker pointed to the company's travel policy and did not provide a statement elaborating.

    But those statements did little to mollify the critics.

    "If it is simply the company's money at stake, then only the shareholders can be upset or feel as it might be excessive," said Thomas Schatz, president of the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.

    But in this case, he said, "it's outrageous."

    "They're coming to Washington to beg the taxpayers to help them. It's unseemly to be running around on a $20,000 flight versus a $500 round trip," Schatz added. iReport.com: Should the Big Three be bailed out?

    The companies did not disclose how much the flights cost.

    Analysts contacted by CNN noted that the prices vary with the size of the plane and the crew, and whether the aircraft is leased or owned by the company.

    Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group said that $20,000 is a legitimate ballpark figure for a round trip corporate jet flight between Detroit, Michigan, and Washington.

    When asked whether they plan to change their travel policies as part of the restructuring needed to shore up their finances, none of the companies answered directly. But they said they have cut back on travel in general as revenues have fallen.

    CNN's Emily Anderson, Virginia Nicolaidis and Dana Bash contributed to this report.
     
  2. MCohen

    MCohen #NotMyPresident #AmericaIsAlreadyGreat #GoSolar OT Supporter

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    Yep, thats really pertinent when they're billions of dollars in debt due to unrelated issues. Good going, Senate.
     
  3. wcbjr

    wcbjr Active Member

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    It establishes credibility, of which they have none.
     
  4. Xicculus

    Xicculus OT Supporter

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    Debt is incurred in a lot of different ways, and one of them is profligate spending by irresponsible and weak boards and management.
     
  5. Uder

    Uder New Member

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    Jetpooled. :rofl:
     
  6. Kafka

    Kafka New Member

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    It has a lot to do with it. Are you kidding? Gross executive compensation is not only an ethics issue, it's a financial one.
     
  7. Secret Agent Man

    Secret Agent Man New Member

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    Yeah, so they should just go out and spend a bunch of unnecessary money, because it's unrelated to the cause of their problems. :ugh2:
     
  8. fusion210

    fusion210 New Member

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    For their safety. :bowrofl:
     
  9. bugginout

    bugginout New Member

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    "There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C...."

    fuck that shit. it's like the senate is enjoying the fact that the big three might go under.
     
  10. squid

    squid braap

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    That's stupid. It's not like they're all flying alone, and a full private jet barely costs any more per person than the same number of first-class tickets, which any executive is going to fly. Populist harping over nothing.
     
  11. wcbjr

    wcbjr Active Member

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    I think the public has spoken, MCohen has no reason posting in this thread.
     
  12. Kafka

    Kafka New Member

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    I hate execs. Greedy bastards.
     
  13. squid

    squid braap

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    How much did it cost? Do you actually know?
     
  14. ned_perfel

    ned_perfel I can smell a lying whore from a mile away.

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    stupidest post of the thread already as the first reply :rofl:

    UNRELATED :bowdown:
     
  15. Secret Agent Man

    Secret Agent Man New Member

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    .
     
  16. ned_perfel

    ned_perfel I can smell a lying whore from a mile away.

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    :rofl: now are we arguing that private jets are cheaper than commercial ?
     
  17. Kafka

    Kafka New Member

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    Way to go off on a stupid tangent. Fucking moron. :hsugh:
     
  18. B4 I FU R U 18

    B4 I FU R U 18 Active Member

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    :werd:
     
  19. Secret Agent Man

    Secret Agent Man New Member

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    Bro, it's a fucking bargain.
     
  20. squid

    squid braap

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    Actually, I said the exact opposite, but go you anyways!
     
  21. 10SE

    10SE New Member

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    If the automaker owns the private jet, why in the fuck would it cost $20,000 to fly it from Detroit to D.C.? Is fuel and maintenance exponentially more expensive for a smaller (and, one would assume, more efficient) jet?

    Does anyone else find this grilling by the Senate the most ironic thing in history, considering the HUGE gaps in accountability for the 700-billion they already decided to hand out?
     
  22. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    so they could have spend $300 each on round trip tickets, instead they waste $20,000

    Yep, no wonder they are losing $20 billion a quarter
     
  23. ned_perfel

    ned_perfel I can smell a lying whore from a mile away.

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    you didn't say anything, you just asked a pointless question because you had no argument
     
  24. MCohen

    MCohen #NotMyPresident #AmericaIsAlreadyGreat #GoSolar OT Supporter

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    God, some of you are complete idiots. Why is the senate focusing on this instead of the bigger issues?
     
  25. bugginout

    bugginout New Member

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    also, isn't there a level of hypocrisy here? i mean, the US deficit is at an all-time high. i wonder if the senate plans on calling in obama after he gets sworn in to talk shit on him for flying a private plane that a garuntee costs more than what these auto execs use. i mean, he is going to be asking american taxpayers for a lot more money in coming years so shouldn't he be flying coach in order to save money?
     

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