The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 May 2009

Left Furious Over Revelations Of White House Threats


Talk Radio Broke Blockbuster Story Of Obama's Threats

Did the Obama Administration threaten to use the White House Press Corps against an attorney who dared to oppose the president's forced handover of Chrysler to labor unions and foreigners?

That's the explosive allegation against the White House made by Tom Lauria, a bankruptcy attorney and major Democratic Party donor representing lenders opposed to the compulsory deal.

If not for the efforts of a well-respected, longtime Detroit-area talk host, Americans would still be unaware of this still-developing saga. At a time when talk radio is being vilified by the mainstream media, the investigative work of WJR's Frank Beckmann (right image) deserves commendation.

It was Beckmann's on-air interview with Lauria that first brought Obama's intimidation campaign to public attention, leading to an ABC News story by Jake Tapper and subsequent attention from other talk shows and blogs, including Rush Limbaugh on Monday:

RUSH: So, of the three possibilities: goodness of their hearts, they got secret slush money under the table from TARP, or they're scared to death because the Treasury department holds the future right in their hands. I vote option three. I vote that the big banks rolled over 'cause they're scared to death 'cause wherever I go, I don't care who I interact with, they're scared to death of this administration.

And now we know, ladies and gentlemen, I was right. Now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt I was right. Option number three, they are scared to death. My buddy Frank Beckmann at WJR in Detroit interviewed one of the bankruptcy lawyers for one of the bondholders at Chrysler, one of the clients. His name is Tom Lauria. Tom Lauria said, "Let me tell you, it's no fun standing on this side of the fence, opposing the president of the United States. In fact, let me just say, people have asked me who I represent. That's a moving target. I can tell you for sure that I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday. One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and, essence, compelled to withdraw its opposition to the Chrysler deal under the threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That's how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence." And Frank Beckmann said, "Was it Perella Weinberg?" Lauria says, "It was Perella Weinberg." Now, this happened on Friday in Detroit. It's made the news throughout the weekend. Now, the White House, by the way, is denying all of this.

But there's a pattern here, ladies and gentlemen, that sort of gives the lie to the denial. We've referred to the situation that's going on in Washington as loan sharking, Obama loan sharking people. Basically what happened was, as we mentioned last week, the bondholders, the investors at Chrysler were leaned on by Obama and called out personally by the name of hedge funds, and they were selfish and they were holding out for a better deal. These people were forced to settle for 20 to 30 cents on the dollar while the UAW was made whole in the whole thing, and the lawyer, Thomas Lauria, now says that his client was threatened with reputation ruination from the White House press corps. There's no question that there is fear all over this country of this administration. There's fear in American business; there's fear in average citizens; there's fear in every aspect that does business one way or the other with the United States government now. The fear that the average American has always had of the IRS has now been transferred to everybody having fear of whatever branch of government they deal with -- in this case, Geithner and Treasury and President Obama.

Now, who is this lawyer, Thomas Lauria? Thomas Lauria is the head of a bankruptcy group at White & Case, the law firm. He is a Democrat who contributed $10,000 to the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2008. He voted for, he contributed to the very regime that he brought to power that is now wreaking havoc on his clients and threatening them with reputation ruination. But because he's a Democrat and gave ten grand to the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee he's got some credibility here, does he not? He's got a little bit more credibility than the White House spokesman. What did the White House spokesman say? "There's no evidence." Well, what's Lauria? Is he lying? "Well, he's a lawyer, Rush." But he's also a Democrat lawyer and gave big money. So on Friday, I predicted to you exactly what was going to happen, why'd they roll over, because they're scared to death. And here's a lawyer now saying (paraphrasing) "The Obama administration came to us and said, 'If you don't go along with this deal we're going to ruin the reputation -- we're going to get the White House press corps.'"

Beckmann, also a Detroit News columnist, has been doing the kind of digging seldom seen in the mainstream media these days.

But that has the left-wing blogosphere in a tizzy. Determined to protect Obama at all costs, they've been launching grenades at ABC News and Tapper for daring to cover something more substantive than dogs, arms and pecs. The far-left Media Matters has also attacked Fox News for discussing the story.

Meanwhile, as can be expected, the White House is denying everything.

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  • It was once said that a black man would be president “when pigs fly”….. indeed 100 days into Obama’s presidency……. Swine Flu!!!

    By Blogger pf1, at 05 May, 2009 07:02  

  • Of course if you look at history (which conservatives never learn from or acknowledge unless it fits their primitive argument) when labor unions have more of a say in a company or industry, the industry usually does better.

    Best thing that came out of this was the UAW part ownership. I suppose conservatives think workers should have no say or voice in their workplace, where they dedicate their entire lives to.

    Handing it over to foreigners? Did conservatives have any better ideas? Reagan handed over the entire country to foreign enterprise, the day he lifted the import tariff, yet conservatives still worship the man

    As long as conservatives and Republicans have a hateful attitude towards labor, they will remain out of power for decadres. Yuo just do not get it, do you. Most Americans are "the little guy" and most Americans union or not, identify with the labor unions and the workers

    Too bad because 1 party rule is unhealthy for democracy, look at what happened to America with 6 years of on party GOP rule.

    By Anonymous AntiLabor=GOPPowerlessforDecades, at 06 May, 2009 09:43  

  • you mentioned everything about the allegations that this supposedly happened, and you made a very weak reference to the white house denying it happened - but this is rather telling:

    "A Perella Weinberg Partners spokesperson told ABC News on Sunday that “The firm denies Mr. Lauria’s account of events.”* The spokesperson would not elaborate."

    That's from the Jake Tapper article, but you failed to bring it up.

    hardly balanced reporting on your part.

    Amusing also that Limbaugh (per your quote, which you highlighted this portion) refers to Lauria as a Democrat, when Tapper's article says Lauria is a self-described liberal.

    This is just as-usual to be expected cherry-picking stuff as you usually do (which you likely learned from listening to limbaugh years ago). Rush, as usual, doesn't get his facts right, and makes ad hominem attacks based on his own deliberate mistatements.

    You, as a partisan hack realizing there's money to be made from this type of dishonesty, deliberately spread this kind of one-sided smear.

    I thought attorney's weren't to be trusted? Why so much trust in the word of Lauria - oh, yeah, cause it supports your own personal financial goals to do so - not that it moves this country forward.

    By Anonymous TJ, at 06 May, 2009 21:41  

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