So just checking: is this an example of good Republican businessmen hiding behind the skirts of the nanny state? Do we have capitalists begging the government to prevent their business partners from acting like capitalists and making free-market decisions that are in the best interest of the corporate bottom line?
Sibby says no, this is businessmen hiding behind the skirts of the South Dakota nanny state to protect themselves from the Obama nanny state. Sibby reminds us that Obama (and the rest of us) own GM now, so really, the suing dealers are asking the courts to protect them from... themselves. Ourselves. Aaaagghh! This is as bad as "I'm My Own Grandpa"!
Whichever way the legal cookie crumbles on this one, it is interesting to note the apparently unique role South Dakota government plays in setting the terms of the car sales business in our fair state:
"South Dakota has a statute that says you can't end a franchise with a dealer before having a hearing," said Michael Dady, the attorney representing the two dealers.
"We'd like you to revoke the letters, schedule a hearing and you can tell the hearing examiner why you have the right to do it and we can tell them why you don't," he said of the notice sent to GM.
Dady said he's negotiating with GM's attorney in hopes a hearing can be scheduled.
GM's in-house lawyer handling the issue could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dady said South Dakota is one of a few states -- or maybe the only one -- with such a requirement.
"It's not typical," he said [Carson Walker, "2 South Dakota Auto Dealers Sue GM to Stay Open," AP via Chicago Tribune, 2009.06.09].
South Dakota car dealers must have a lot of pull around here.
According to Walker, the dealers argue that GM is violating South Dakota's unusual dealership franchise laws in four ways:
- GM "didn't notify the state." (I didn't know capitalists had to inform the state of their business decisions.)
- GM "hasn't given a good reason to close the franchises." (I didn't know capitalists had to give the state a reason for their business decisions.)
- GM failed to show that the needs of the communities will be served without them. (Serve the community? Isn't that socialism?)
- Dealers have a right to a new contract if they fulfilled their obligations. (Right to a new contract? Boy, if only South Dakota's workers had that sort of legal protection.)