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GM Returning 2 Jets

November 21st, 2008 2 comments

I must be doing something right…  Two post in one week merited action from the powers in Washington and Detroit.  I really can’t take full credit or even a small portion.  The credit really goes to the people of Detroit like MaureenFrancis of Oakland County Real Easte Firm SKBK Sotheby’s International holding Corporate Executives accountable like in the latest attempt by GM to save the public image of their Company as they ask for money from US Tax Payer’s.

In the end the Big 3 US Automakers will get assistance and I hope they do.  I just want to make sure it is used correctly and not to line the pockets of the wealthy.

MSNBC.com and Reuters is reporting that GM is Returning 2 Leased Jets from their corporate fleet.

GM to return two leased jets amid criticism

By Poornima Gupta

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Corp will return two of its leased corporate jets amid intense criticism in Washington this week on the luxury travel arrangements of its chief executive even as the company pleads for federal aid.

CEO Rick Wagoner was in the capital to testify on the company’s dire financial situation but his testimony was overshadowed by irate lawmakers who blasted him for flying on a private jet to ask for public funds and failing to make personal sacrifices in exchange for federal assistance.

Chief executives from Ford Motor Co, and Chrysler LLC, who were also there to plead for $25 billion in federal aid, came under fire too for flying to Washington in private jets.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said on Friday GM decided to return the aircraft because of a “really aggressive cutback in travel.”

The company, which is in a cost-cutting mode, is scrutinizing every trip, he said, but declined to disclose the name of the company it leases the airplanes from.

Wilkinson said the decision to return the leased corporate jets was made before this week’s hearings and that the company in September returned two other of the seven jets it had at the beginning of the year.

“There is a perception issue,” Wilkinson said of Wagoner’s travel to Washington on a private jet. “We need to be very sensitive to that going forward.”

He, however, said the company has not decided on what mode of transportation Wagoner would take if had to travel to Washington again.

Wagoner and Ford CEO Alan Mulally are required by their companies to fly by private aircraft for security reasons, according to company documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The policy for Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli is not required to be disclosed because the company is not publicly traded.

Skeptical lawmakers took to task the three CEOs for their luxurious travel arrangements at congressional committee hearings.

“Couldn’t you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled or something to get here?” Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, asked the executives at a hearing held by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

Even Democrats who said they were sympathetic to the automakers’ plight expressed frustration that the executives used private jets while professing ruthless cost-cutting measures.

A Chrysler spokesman said the automaker also leases or charters jets. He, however, declined to comment on whether the company was rethinking the use of private jets for executive travel, saying it was a “private matter.”

Ford did not have an immediate comment on its corporate jet policy.

According to Ford’s proxy, CEO Mulally’s compensation included $752,203 in 2007 for personal use of company aircraft.

About two years ago, the head of Ford’s North American operations, Mark Fields, gave up use of a corporate jet for personal travel to his home in Florida after the arrangement came under criticism at a time when the automaker was losing billions and slashing jobs.

He now flies first class on commercial planes.

(Additional reporting by David Bailey, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Prostitute Apologizes to Family

November 20th, 2008 4 comments

The Prostitute in the former New York Governor Elliot Spitzers scandal case apologizes to Spitzers wife.  The scandal swept across the country while I was living in New York.

The Boston Herald is reporting that she is using the publicity for fame credit. But in here interview with People Magazine it appears to me that she was more trying to clear her name and apologize to Mrs. Spitzer and CNN.com gave more details and objective reporting of the situation and the interviews.

Prostitute to Spitzer’s wife: ‘I’m sorry’

Story Highlights

  • Dupre’s message to Silda Wall Spitzer: “I’m sorry for your pain”
  • She says she was stricken by the pained expression on Silda Wall Spitzer’s face
  • Dupre, 23, said Spitzer was polite and businesslike when they met

NEW YORK (AP) — The prostitute at the center of the scandal that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has apologized to his wife.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre also sat down with Diane Sawyer for an ABC "20/20" segment to be aired Friday.Ashley Alexandra Dupre also sat down with Diane Sawyer for an ABC “20/20” segment to be aired Friday.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre tells People magazine that the FBI informed her in early March that it was investigating one of her clients. A few days later, she found out which client when she recognized Spitzer on TV — resigning.

That was March 12, after revelations Spitzer had used Emperors Club VIP, where Dupre worked.

She says she was stricken by the pained expression on Silda Wall Spitzer’s face.

“I try not to revisit that place too often, but when I think about his speech, I think of her face, her eyes, the hurt,” Dupre said.

Her message to Silda Wall Spitzer: “I’m sorry for your pain.”

Dupre, 23, said Spitzer was polite and businesslike when they met. “Some guys, they want to have conversations and really get to know each other. With him, it clearly was not like that,” she said. “It was more of a transaction. Strictly business.”

Dupre, who was known then as Kristen, said she practiced safe sex with all her clients, including Spitzer. On her attorney’s advice, she would not elaborate on their liaison, or say whether Spitzer visited her more than once. She did say that he dressed casually and she did not see his security detail.

Dupre also sat down with Diane Sawyer for an ABC “20/20” segment to be aired Friday. In that interview, ABC said, she describes how an “upper middle-class, girl next door got into the profession and the psychological journey she continues to experience.”

Four people have pleaded guilty to running the prostitution operation. Last week, federal prosecutors said they wouldn’t bring criminal charges against Spitzer.

Dupre, 23, envisions a future for herself in music, fashion and “writing books” — but not prostitution. “Never again.”

Joe Plumber Revealed

October 15th, 2008 2 comments

So who is this Joe Plumber from Ohio that was at the center of discussion in the Presidential Debate?

Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio

Below is a video of the Infamous Joe Plumber

[sniplet joe-plumber-youtube]

Twittering the Debate

October 15th, 2008 No comments

Tonight is the Final Debate in the 2008 presidential debate series between Barack Obama and John McCain.  Tonight I will be Twittering the Debate and prepping post about the coming weeks.

Twittering the Debate logo

I doubt there will be many fireworks in tonight’s debate.  Though it would be in John McCain’s interest to make something happen as this will be his last chance to kick start his final chance for election victory.  Stay up-to-date on my take on the debate with me on twitter, http://twitter.com/estesce.

The debate starts at 9PM ET / 6PM PT on just about every news network.  I like watching the CNN broadcast of the debate with the annoying Ohio Voters opinion line at the bottom.  I don’t believe the opinion line is accurate but it does show some insight into responses by the candidate.

So join me for the Presidential Debate and kickoff for the race to the end.