Tea Party of Scottsdale, AZ
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Rep Jay Lawrence on why he voted against the Tesla Bill

jay_lawrence.jpegRep Jay Lawrence posted this explanation on Facebook: 

Another day, another interesting bill. And another great example of how lobbyists can work, the process can work, and how different members hear different sales pitches based on their personal beliefs. We heard a bill designed to benefit Tesla, a company that produces a great looking car but that doesn’t want to play by the rules in terms of using dealerships to sell their products. The pitch to me was “free market!” which naturally resonates. But the company on which lobbyists are trying to pitch me is owned by a man whose entire fortune is dependent on government subsidies, loans, etc. Tesla itself loses money on every car it sells until you factor in the various pro-environment subsidies that state and federal governments kick in. Ultimately I sided with the system we have and the way it protects consumers and allows dealers to play advocate, provide service, etc. I also voted to honor the rules of the game as we have set them up in an effort to lure literally hundreds of millions of dollars of investments from auto dealers. Maybe I would have felt differently if Tesla made a product that could stand on its own in an actual free market? Still, I suspect my respect for those who have invested so much into our communities and who employ so many in a system that works so well for the consumers would still win the day.

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commented 2015-02-09 22:16:18 -0700 · Flag
I am with Jay on the Tesla issue and I do not agree with Baron about the Tesla marketing being superior to the models in existence. Why is Jay disingenuous? He did not vote for any auto company subsidy.

As for Doug’s comment, yes as an independent agent you had to compete against the big boys, but your business was also regulated just as theirs. Did Tesla not ask for the legislation, though?
commented 2015-02-06 23:48:03 -0700 · Flag
One of the reasons I supported you Jay was to vote for free markets and free enterprise. I’m afraid you made a huge mistake voting against Tesla’s new competitive “dealer-less” marketing program. I share your disgust for the way Elon Musk has built Tesla on the back of taxpayers. Anyone can make a great product and market it competitively if they receive a billion dollars in government subsidies! Tesla is not alone either. All of our automakers have been dining at the public troth at the expense of all of us. So voting against a new and possibly superior marketing program because Tesla is government subsidized was a bit disingenuous although I believe you did so with good intentions. I hope you have an opportunity to revisit your decision one day and will side with free markets and free enterprise next time. Keep in mind that all of our automakers are heavily subsidized, which you and I detest, but the Tesla model for dealer-less marketing may be more cost effective and thus save us all money in the long run.

Baron Benham
commented 2015-02-06 15:43:32 -0700 · Flag
This is the response of Doug Reed to Rep Lawrence: Hi, Jay. I believe you are way off base on your “no” vote on the above bill. My understanding it that, although it was referred to as a “Tesla bill,” it would have applied to all vehicle manufacturers. If there is a valid need for auto dealerships, let the marketplace decide.
Jay, the argument that the industry provides a lot of jobs and tax revenue was made for buggy whip companies, too.
I believe you know that I retired from the insurance business as an Independent Agent. As such, I competed against insurance company sales organizations such as Allstate and GEICO. Insurance agencies provide a lot of jobs, and pay a lot of taxes, but we never asked for legislation to protect us from direct sales by insurance companies. And, if we had asked for protection, our lawmakers would have screamed about the virtues of competition rather than restrict the likes of Allstate and GEICO.
And, Jay, our country is better for competition. In my case, it forced me to offer a better service to compete for the business.
You can’t be a free market Republican part of the time, Jay. Its all or nothing.
Doug Reed