If his recent efforts negotiating a bailout for the automobile manufacturers are a hint, it sure looks like it. His latest public action was a letter addressed to Reid and Pelosi pushing them to move forward on the Voinovich/Bond/Specter plan:
“Our legislation contains strong taxpayer protections including: (1) the submission of a detailed strategic business plan that would be independently reviewed and analyzed by the Secretary of Commerce; (2) a mechanism to replenish the dollars back into the Department of Energy section 136 program so the companies can begin the important task of retooling to meet new fuel-efficiency standards; (3) prohibitions on the payment of dividends; (4) the provision of warrants; (5) limits on executive compensation; (6) a prohibition on golden parachute payments; and (7) and the creation of an oversight board. I believe our bipartisan legislation represents an excellent template for crafting a package that can pass both Houses of Congress and be signed into law by President Bush.”
While I applaud the Ohio Senator’s efforts, there is some concern that this plan just raises the dike a little higher, thereby only delaying the inevitable crash. But, maybe that is just what is needed.
I asked for a little clarification from his office re: point number 2, as listed above. Their response:
“It guarantees that the money that was originally intended to be used for green things, like hybrids, fuel cells, etc., is replenished and used for its original purpose.”
At the end of the day, this legislation WILL help Ohioans. But, it may damage the industry in the long run. One thing is for sure…Voinovich is working to make sure his constituents remember he’s still there working for them. He’ll need that in a couple years.