Auto destructOf course Alan Silberberg, owner of the former Lakes Family Auto Center in Belmont — one of the Chrysler dealerships shut down as a result of the company’s bankruptcy reorganization — is angry. But you’ve got to wonder whether his anger is directed at the right people, or, in his case, person.Silberberg got his 15 minutes earlier this month after he closed his dealership but kept a sign in his window that read, “This business is now closed because of Obama’s economics.”All well and good. But, considering the particularly delicate financial history of Chrysler over the last 30 years, Silberberg’s claim to newspapers that his dealership’s closing is a direct result of “a prefabricated bankruptcy that has been conducted and manipulated by the Obama administration through his ‘Car Czar’ and his ‘Auto Task Force,’ stating that less dealerships would be better for the overall outcome” seems, shall we say, a little bit of an oversimplification.Consider that Chrysler’s financial distress has been going on for years. In fact, each year since 1999 — when the company sold 2.6 million cars — the automaker has sold fewer vehicles than the year before, except for 2004 and 2005. In 2007, the company sold 2 million cars, a year later, it sold 1.4 million — before the dawn of “Obama’s economics.” In other words, Chrysler was a corporate mess, an industry dinosaur that was headed for failure, with or without being pushed.You say you want an evolution
Those of you who may have been thinking about filing a missing persons report for Frank Guinta, the former Manchester mayor and current 1st C.D. GOP hopeful, can breathe a sigh of relief. He’s been spotted by Washington Post blogger David Weigel, although apparently without all of the equipment he entered the primary with.Under a June 10 blog post entitled, “How the Family Research Council convinced a GOP candidate in N.H. to ‘evolve’,” Weigel describes the process Guinta went through in order to obtain the backing of the Family Research Council, founded by right-wing icon James Dobson.“Guinta came into the race with a libertarian streak,” Connie Mackey, president of the FRC Action PAC, told Weigel (who pointed out that Guinta at one point voted against parental consent for abortion and endorsed Rudy Giuliani for president). “His intentions were good — he was focused on small government. But I don’t think he understood all of the issues at first, and he got mugged on them. It didn’t seem at first that gay marriage would be an issue he’d have to look at as a small government libertarian, but he saw what happened when it was forced to a vote in New Hampshire, and he realized that it was an issue.”Mackey told Weigel that Guinta assured social conservatives that he’s moved closer to their stances on the issues. In fact, Mackey even said she has a letter from Guinta explaining his new views.“Candidates evolve,” said Mackey, “and they tend to evolve toward us, not toward the libertarian streak that Guinta came in with. And when that happens, that tells us we won’t just have a good vote. We’ll have an advocate.”Robbing RGGI
One of the main reasons the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was formed was to create jobs tied to the energy-efficiency industry, not to save the jobs of politicians who desperately try to convince voters there’s no need to raise revenue the old-fashioned, up-front way.F&J TOTE BOARDTom Eaton: The former Senate president and Keene funeral home director files to run for his former seat in an attempt to bury Democratic Sen. Molly Kelly’s political career.Jim Splaine: The longtime Democratic state rep and former state senator from Portsmouth decides to end his 30-year political career.Harold Janeway and Kathy Sgambati: The state senators from Webster and Tilton decide to join the other Dems who won’t be running for re-election.Marjorie Smith: The Durham Democrat and House finance chair calls it quits after seven terms as a state rep.Cordell Johnston: The legal counsel for the Local Government Center finds himself with some ‘splaining to do after a rather angry memo directed at, among others, Secretary of State Billy Gardner, is leaked.Dave Wheeler: The former GOP senator and executive councilor files to try for a third time to get the best of Executive Councilor Deb Pignatelli.
It's been making the rounds...
• We can dream, can’t we? Imagine what the gubernatorial race would have been like if Papa John Sununu were the GOP candidate.• How come no one has called for Senior Assistant AG, and former chief of the AG’s Consumer Protection Bureau, Richard Head’s head over the FRM debacle?• Some folks are still trying to figure out why both Harold Janeway and Kathy Sgambati decided to wait until the last minute to announce they weren’t running for re-election to the Senate.• It says here that Ovide Lamontagne is the big winner after Kelly Ayotte’s less-than-stellar performance before the legislative committee looking into the FRM mess.• Wouldn’t former Securities Bureau chief Mark Connolly have made more of an impact if he toyed with running for governor instead of U.S. Senate?• John Stephen better have more ammunition than a nebulous rooms and meals tax “holiday.”• When Dem chair Ray Buckley claims his party will increase its majority this year because “people are supportive of change,” doesn’t he realize that spells doom for his team?
This article appears in the June 18 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review