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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama's First GM Test

(H/T to Hot Air) It appears that GM will keep its lobbying arm even though it will pay lobbyists with tax dollars.

General Motors will continue its multimillion-dollar lobbying operation in Washington, even after the federal government takes ownership of it. The automaker may even maintain its high-dollar lobbying contracts with some of the wealthiest and most influential K Street firms.

“We believe we have an obligation to remain engaged at the federal and state levels,” General Motors stated in an e-mail after President Barack Obama announced his plan for the federal takeover of the carmaker, “and to have our voice heard in the policymaking process.”

As a result, some of the jobs that the White House will save with this unprecedented nationalization could be on K Street in downtown D.C., rather than in Detroit.

This one is going to be a no brainer for the President. There's no way he will allow GM to lobby D.C. while being owned by the tax payers. Obama has already demonized lobbyists on many occasions.

This isn't necessarily a story that will capture the media and become something that is endlessly discussed however you can also bet that more media than merely the Washington Examiner will cover it as well. As soon as enough media cover this, the president will be forced to step in and demand that all lobbying will stop.

This will be rather non contoversial, however it will also be a microcosm of just how political GM will soon become. I don't know just how much financial worth GM's lobbying efforst bring GM, but their lobbying activities will cease not due to finance but politics. This will be the first non controversial government interference into the affairs of the company but it will be a preview of many more interferences.

UPDATE: Within hours, GM contacted the Examiner to say that their D.C. lobbying efforts will cease though they will keep an in house lobbyist arm.

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