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Does GM's proposal to the State of Tennessee walk a legal tightrope?

Posted Friday, June 12, 2009, at 8:44 AM

If what I gleaned from the news and Gov. Bredesen's statement about what it would take to have them make a decision in favor of producing their new product in Spring Hill is correct, I am curious how much different that is from the illegal act of extortion or commercial bribery? I am all in favor of Spring Hill getting the contract, but hearing their demand for payment in advance to select a location, just sounds wrong.

"Neither extortion nor blackmail require a threat of a criminal act, such as violence, merely a threat used to elicit actions, money, or property from the object of the extortion." (Wikipedia)

Commercial Bribery is "the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage" (thefreedictionary) Would the State be guilty of this if they paid?

They did not want tax credits, they wanted payment up front. How great would it be if we could demand payment up front to start a business, or to keep one going? Tax incentives are one thing, but this demand is .......too many words come to mind.

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From the way I understand it GM wants money to the tune of 200 Million dollars in order to build cars in Spring Hill. Bredesen should have told them they can burn the plant before he hands them 200 Million. Personally I think enough of my tax money has gone to help GM.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 9:19 AM

This is kind of an insult to us the taxpayers since the government already owns a huge percentage of the company and we the taxpayers are the ones already footing their bill and now they want to blackmail us for more? What little sympathy I had for them just went out the door. Unfortunately Obama is not that much different than Bush in that he throws money at the problem in hopes it will solve itself instead of fixing the problem (allow GM to go bankrupt before all the bailouts). One you start getting people and businesses use to handouts, they don't want to actually work to improve their situation.

But hey, now Congress wants to pass legislation that will dictate compensation pay to all private sector corporations (even ones not receiving bailout money). Slowly government is taking over the private sector and with them also wanting to increase taxes on these corporations; you are already seeing several of these businesses including Microsoft threatening to move jobs out of the country. It is scary to see the direction this country is going and how government is spiraling out of control while Democrats and Republicans bicker on who should be top dog.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 9:41 AM

"One you start getting people and businesses use to handouts, they don't want to actually work to improve their situation."

BINGO! you nailed that one right!

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 11:41 AM

I'm glad to see that someone else was as appalled by this situation as I was. I was literally screaming at the TV as I watched this story unfold on the local news. I even rewound it and watched it twice, to make sure I hadn't misunderstood.

The idea that GM would demand taxpayer money (upfront!) is simply ludicrous. Who's to say that they will even still be around 12 months from now.

Completelly ridiculous.

-- Posted by Nobody'sFool on Tue, Jun 16, 2009, at 12:24 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.