Over the last two month, the Obama Treasury Department has attempted to steamroll the rule of law in order to hand majority control of Chrysler to its union, the federal government, and Fiat. With the tacit approval of a lapdog press that has virtually ignored the story, the administration’s mob-like tactics seemed destined to succeed — but for the brave protests of Indiana pension funds that have stood in the middle of the road and demanded accountability.
“The Obama administration’s effort to hurry Chrysler through bankruptcy court ran into an unexpected last-minute delay on Monday, when the Supreme Court said it could consider whether to hear the objections of three Indiana state funds and consumer groups,” read the New York Times’s lead story today. The court’s action is only “unexpected” for readers of the Times, who have been denied reporting (even as alternative press sources such as Planet Gore, Larry Kudlow, and The Business Insider have provided full coverage) on the administration extra-legal tactics in making offers that debt-holders like Indiana can’t refuse.
Those tactics have included the bullying of TARP banks and outright political intimidation of investment funds “to withdraw opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight,” according to funds’ lawyer Tom Lauria.
Now, as a result of the Indiana funds’ persistence, documents have surfaced detailing in chilling detail how car czars Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom dictated the terms of Chrysler’s restructuring.
The documents show the Democratic administration’s determination to cut out Chrysler executives (who questioned Fiat’s worthiness as a partner) and secured debt-holders (who by law had first claim on Chrysler’s assets) in its single-minded determination to hand control of the company over to a key party political player, the UAW, and preserve union jobs. (As with its stimulus plan, the administration has framed its political power play as necessary to save the economy from collapse.)
Perhaps the most revealing documents detail how Chrysler executives tried to avert bankruptcy in late April — mindful of the legal rights of its debt-holders. But Chrysler management’s attempt to sweeten the deal to bondholders was met by the full fury of Obama’s Treasury.
“I am not talking to you,” responded Rattner deputy Matthew Feldman. “You went where you shouldn’t. It’s over. The president doesn’t negotiate second rounds. I’ve protected your management and your board, and now you’re going to put me in a position to have to bend to a terrorist like Lauria. That’s BS.”
So the lawyer trying to protect the pensions of retired Indiana teachers and firefighters and police officers is a “terrorist.” Remember that the next time President Obama says that his Chrysler deal is necessary to save America’s working man.