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Williams still in race for auto czar, but Congress may abolish position

Published: Fri, April 1, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.


Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams

By David Skolnick



Mayor Jay Williams is still in the running to be the nation’s auto czar.

But if House Republicans succeed in eliminating funding for that job, officially called the director of recovery for auto communities and workers, and eight other “czars,” the position would be gone.

Williams, a Democrat, confirmed in October that he had met with White House officials to discuss the vacant position. While he is still under consideration, Williams has declined to discuss the issue since, including saying, “No comment” on Thursday about the job.

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to a bill in February by a 249-179 vote to eliminate the salaries of the nine policy czars.

Senate Democrats, who have a majority in that legislative body, criticize the legislation and want to maintain funding for the positions.

With Congress unable to agree on a 2011 fiscal budget, the future of the czars is uncertain.

“The so-called ‘czars’ are unelected bureaucrats with no accountability to either taxpayers or Congress and who wield outsized power in an administration that is becoming notorious for doing an end-run around the American people,” said Jessica Towhey, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Poland, R-6th.

“House Republicans are looking to eliminate waste in government — eliminating funding for these czars is a great place to start.”

However, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, said, “I believe that the president of the United States should have the authority to appoint White House advisers to help him administer the government and effectively deal with today’s challenges. Instead of climbing the mountain, House Republicans are focused on destroying a mole hill.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, supports Williams’ joining President Barack Obama’s administration.

But Portman said he has “a concern” that the president appoints policy czars without having them meet with and be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as are Cabinet members.

Portman said he hopes the president and his advisers could persuade Williams to join the administration in some other capacity because it “would be great for Ohio and the Mahoning Valley.” Portman also said Williams would be a great asset to the administration.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, also supports Obama appointing Williams as the auto czar calling the mayor “a strong leader.”

The senator added: “With hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs directly or indirectly depending on the auto industry, it’s critical to have an individual in that role who understands the ins and outs of the auto world, and how communities rely on the auto sector for good jobs and corporate citizenship. While his departure would mean a great loss for Youngstown, I think Mayor Williams would make an excellent director.”

The auto czar’s responsibilities include providing federal money to assist displaced autoworkers with job retraining and to communities that largely depend on the industry as a key component of their economy. The federal government loaned billions of dollars to General Motors and Chrysler to keep those two U.S. auto companies in business.

Ed Montgomery resigned as auto czar in June 2010 to be Georgetown University’s dean of public policy. Obama appointed Montgomery in March 2009.

Williams was re-elected in November 2009 to his second term as Youngstown mayor. The city charter permits mayors to serve no more than two consecutive four-year terms.

If Williams is offered the federal job and takes it, the city charter calls for the president of city council to automatically fill the remainder of the mayor’s term. The term expires Dec. 31, 2013.

Charles Sammarone, a Democrat, is currently the president of council. If Williams leaves, Sammarone said he would fill the unexpired term as mayor.


1palbubba(746 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Why was there neither rhyme nor reason as to which dealerships of the Chrysler Corporation were to be closed?
Roll the clock back to the weeks just before Chrysler declared bankruptcy. Chrysler, like GM, was in dire financial straits and federal government "graciously" offered to "buy the company" and keep them out of bankruptcy and "save jobs."
Chrysler was, in the words of Obama and his administration, "Too big to fail," same story with GM.The feds organized their "Automotive Task Force" to fix Chrysler and GM. Obama, in an act that is 100% unconstitutional, appointed a guy named Steve Rattner to be the White House's official Car Czar - literally, that's what his title is.
Rattner was the liaison between Obama, Chrysler, and GM.
Initially, the national media reported that Chrysler 'had made this list of dealerships'. Not true! The Washington Examiner, Newsmax, Fox News and a host of other news agencies discovered that the list of dealerships was put together by the "Automotive Task Force" headed by no one other than Mr. Steve Rattner. Remember earlier we said that there was neither rhyme nor reason why certain dealerships were closed?
Actually there's a very interesting pattern as to who was closed down. Again, on May 27, 2009, The Washington Examiner and Newsmax exposed the connection.
Amazingly, of the 789 dealerships closed by the federal government, 788 had donated money, exclusively to Republican political causes, while contributing nothing to Democratic political causes. The only "Democratic" dealership on the list was found to have donated $7,700 to Hillary's campaign, and a bit over $2,000 to John Edwards. This same dealership, reportedly, also gave $200.00 to Obama's campaign.Does that seem a little odd to you? Steve Rattner is the guy who put the list together. Well, he happens to be married to a Maureen White. Maureen happens to be the former national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. As such, she has access to campaign donation records from everyone in the nation- Republican or Democrat. But of course, this is just a wacky "coincidence," we're certain.

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2palbubba(746 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Then comes another really wacky "coincidence."
On that list of dealerships being closed down, a weird thing happened in Arkansas , North Louisiana, and Southern Missouri .. It seems that Bill Clinton's former White House Chief of Staff, Mack McClarty, owns a chain of dealership in that region, partnered with a fellow by the name of Robert Johnson.
Johnson happens to be founder of Black Entertainment Television and was a huge Obama supporter and financier.
These guys own a half dozen Chrysler stores under the company title of RLJ-McClarty-Landers. Interestingly, none of their dealerships were ordered closed - not one! While all of their competing Chrysler/Dodge and Jeep dealership were!
Eight dealerships located near the dealerships owned by McClarty and Johnson were ordered shut down. Thus by pure luck, these two major Obama supporters now have virtual monopoly on Chrysler sales in their zone. Isn't that amazing? Go look in The Washington Examiner, the story's there, and it's in a dozen or so other web-based news organizations; this isn't being made up.Obama smiles and says he doesn't want to run the auto industry.
As horrifying as this is to comprehend, and being as how this used to be the United States of America , it would appear that the president has the power to destroy private businesses and eliminate upwards of 100,000 jobs just because they don't agree with his political agenda.
This is Nazi Germany stuff, and it's happening right here, right now, in our back yard. There are voices in Washington demanding an explanation, but the "Automotive Task Force" has released no information to the public or to any of the senators demanding answers for what has been done.
Keep your ear to the ground for more on this story. If you've ever wanted to make a difference about anything in your life, get on the phone to your national senator or representative in the House and demand an investigation into this.
Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said, "All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Car Czar No More
An amazing thing happened as this story was going to press. Obama's Car Czar, Steve Rattner, resigned on July 13 and was promptly replaced by former steel workers union boss Ron Bloom. By the way, Rattner is under investigation for a multi-million dollar pay-to-play investment bank scandal in New York . Obama has 32 personally appointed "czars" who answer to no one but him, all of whom are acting without any Constitutional authority. But hey, we're sure they all have "unique skills,"... as Tim Geithner likes to say!

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3Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"While his departure would mean a great loss for Youngstown, I think Mayor Williams would make an excellent director.”

He's joking, right? A great loss??? April Fools joke I would venture to say.

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4walter_sobchak(2418 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

This is not the first time that I heard there was shenanigans regarding which dealerships to close. A former worker at Frederick Dodge in Boardman related to me how Bob Frederick got screwed royally by Chrysler after he had spent millions of dollars moving his entire operation across the street and by new service equipment. His business was located in the busiest car market in the area yet Bob Eddy got to remain in business at his dive on the west side.

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5redeye1(5359 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Let's all hope that mayor Williams takes the car czar job. Then that congress abolishes it. That would get rid of two problems at ine time. Take the job Mayor.

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6seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ falconeddy, so true. I see it every day. Only problem is that Belinky is so short all future cars would be the size of bumper cars from the fairs...what qualifications does Peanut Head have for this czar position, other than...ummm...errrr...what qualifies him? Other than he is low-profile, and could have worked for ACORN...this is criminal and O's socialist regime does not abide by the rules when confronted to produce documents relating to how this all went down.

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