Nashville’s Gibson Guitars finally admitted it violated the Lacey Act when it imported endangered wood. They will pay $350,000 in fines and penalties, forfeit their claim to endangered wood seized by the Feds, and hopefully go and sin no more.
What I really want is for Republicans to be held accountable for their baseless claim that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was targeted by the Obama Administration because he donated to Republicans. It was a completely crazy (and baseless) allegation that got picked up by Fox and went around the wingnut wurlitzer, the kind of stuff Teanuts just want to believe is true. Apparently the federal government is just too inept and incompetent to do anything but take out petty vendettas on a local businessman who, it turned out, donated a paltry $2,000 to local Democratic congressman Jim Cooper. Woopsies.
Juszkiewicz, of course, never bothered to correct anyone. Indeed, he seemed to relish in his useful idiocy for the Republican cause, whining in the press and showing up at Tea Party rallies to let everyone know how oppressed he was. He’s always been one of Nashville’s more unstable characters. Gibson Guitars is a notorious revolving door of overworked and underpaid employees at all levels; word on the street is that a disgruntled employee, tired of Juszkiewicz’s craziness, turned the company in to the Feds. Didn’t hear that on Fox News, didja?
I wrote about the case here last year. When the Feds raided Gibson Guitars’ Nashville warehouse, it was the perfect opportunity for Republicans to grandstand about “oppressive environmental laws hurting job creators,” blahbeddy blah. Congress Critter Marsha Blackburn (R-Wingnuttia) held rallies, and the House Energy & Commerce Committee issued this ridiculous statement sarcastically accusing the Obama Administration of capriciously defending “the signature legislative accomplishment of President McKinley” at the expensive of modern American job creators. Oh, it was a delightful spectacle of political theater, especially in Tennessee. There was even a petition filed over at Change.org by a Tea Party group, full of Republican lies and distortions about the case. This is when I knew never to trust those stupid Change.org petitions, by the way.
Anyway, Juszkiewicz seems to have been abandoned by his Republican friends. The “poster boy” for the American job creator unfairly hurt by big, mean ol’ Obama is going to be out over $500,000 when it’s all said and done. And you just know that $50,000 he has to donate to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to promote conservation of endangered trees has gotta hurt.
Now that this case is closed and Juszkiewicz is paying his fines, I wonder how Republicans are going to spin it? Will they continue to trot it out as a case of environmental laws hurting “job creators”? Probably. Facts have never stood in the way of a good Republican talking point before.