Friday, February 12, 2016

Christie: No free market for you!

The Christie administration blocks an electric car from New Jersey.

Christie: No free market for you!

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“We need to talk about the fact that we are for a free-market society that allows your effort and ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of the government."

-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, speaking Thursday to CPC.

More coverage

I guess that was sooooo last week:

Tesla Motors, makers of luxury electric cars, has accused the Christie administration of standing in the way of innovation as it seeks to expand in New Jersey.

In a release today, the California-based carmaker said new rules proposed by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie seek to limit its ability to sell cars directly and without a middleman.

"Indeed, the Administration and the NJMVC are thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state's laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers. This is an affront to the very concept of a free market," Tesla said in a post on its corporate website.

At issue is a new rule that would make licensing requirements more stringent and limit Tesla's ability to sell directly to its customers without the traditional dealer model. 

The rule is backed by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), which spent more than $155,000 in its lobbying efforts last year.

Tesla didn't really think it was going to waltz into New Jersey and sell cars without running that by Boss Christie, or  at least David Samson, first, did they? This is a state that doesn't trust people to pump their own gas! But what's really going on?

I saw some speculation that this is Christie sucking up to the Koch brothers by opposing electric cars -- he did flip-flop on global warming, after all -- but they're probably overthinking it. This is just old-fashioned crony capitalism -- the only kind that Chris Christie knows. People who want a Tesla can always shop for one in Manhattan. Good luck getting over that George Washington Bridge, though.

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About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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