In May of last year, after General Motors initiated an ad campaign claiming they had fully repaid American taxpayers, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Treasury for documents relating to the campaign. CEI Senior Counsel Hans Bader reports:
The documents produced as a result of CEI’s FOIA request show GM coordinating PR strategy with the Obama Administration more than three weeks before launching the campaign.
Starting on March 30, 2010, in advance of the GM’s planned launch of its campaign to announce that they had supposedly repaid taxpayers, Brian Deese from the Executive Office of the President and numerous Treasury Department officials began exchanging emails related to the announcement. (See pages 55-59;97-102.) These emails included draft schedules, draft remarks to be given by GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, and draft press releases from both GM and the Treasury Department. See pp. 9-14; 18-24; 36-39; 83-96.
The Treasury Department saw the misleading advertisements GM was planning to make in advance. GM’s marketing strategy was laid out for Treasury Department officials, who had the opportunity to object, but raised no objections to these misleading claims.
Even the Obama administration is now admitting that taxpayers will lose at least $14 billion on the auto bailout. And that was before GM stock dropped almost 10% over the last two days.