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MA - legislative hearing on anti-Tesla bill scheduled in November - let's show up!

Discussion in 'New England' started by LMB, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. LMB

    LMB Member

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    The House and Senate Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Licensing will hear the auto-dealer sponsored bill on Tuesday, November 19 at 1 pm in the State House.

    The bill S 129 filed by State Senator Marc Pacheco of Bridgewater "clarifies" the dealer licensing law by adding a sentence to the existing law relative to the sale of new vehicles by entities owned by manufacturers:

    "This blanket prohibition on manufacturer ownership applies notwithstanding whether a manufacturer or distributor has previously used independently owned or operated dealerships to distribute its vehicles."

    Background: the Mass Auto Dealers Association has sued the Town of Natick for issuing a dealership license to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tesla on the grounds that it violates existing law. So far the MADA has lost in court on this, so they seek to ensure that Tesla's operations will be outside of the law in future.

    To be clear, this is not about electric cars - Pacheco is one of the biggest backers of alternative energy in the legislature. Unfortunately, he is also clearly in the auto dealers' pocket.

    This is about a sales model that is as revolutionary within the industry as the technology is. If ever there was a chance to set the stage to be free of the tyranny of auto dealers, this is the moment. All we want is for the two sales models to be free to compete on a level playing field - and we'll see which one the consumer prefers. That's our pitch. And in the "Consumer Protection Committee," we would like to see our representatives advancing bills which protect consumers, not auto dealers.

    Meanwhile, the bill H 241, filed by Rep. Linsky of Natick, does the opposite. He was so ticked off when the auto dealers sued Natick that he filed this bill to "clarify" the existing law such that sales by manufacturers and distributors are legal when they do not compete with any franchised dealers. Fair enough, I would think.

    In my opinion, we should request that the committee report H 241 out favorably, and delete the offending sentence from S 129.

    Please join me at the State House on November 19 if you can. Legislators are used to hearing from lobbyists and people who are paid to show up at their hearings. It does get their attention when actual citizens show up to comment.
     
  2. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    I will try to be the. Thanks for posting this.
     
  3. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Thanks L, I will try to be there!
     
  4. Tslagrl

    Tslagrl Member

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    Any idea what time of day?
     
  5. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    I believe we heard 1:00pm, but 'll let LMB confirm
     
  6. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    November 19 at 1 pm in the State House.
     
  7. David Rhee

    David Rhee Member

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    I will be there. We should send a clear message that the franchise law is not consumer friendly.
     
  8. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I will try to be there - hope my schedule works out so I can.
     
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Exactly -- I think it would be a tactical error to stress the Tesla angle on this. This bill would halt innovation in automotive retailing, to the detriment of consumers and the enrichment of franchise auto dealers. What possible reason can there be to force a new company to compete exclusively through existing retail channels?
     
  10. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    I'm in.

    Anyone want to meet nearby beforehand for lunch? Say, noon at the Four Seasons or similar? (This suggestion may not be time-compatible with the next thoughts.)

    Is it possible to do something visible with the cars, e.g., proceed in a bunch around the Common? Park somewhere visible to the State House? Get a permit for a parade?

    Does anyone have connections to other forums where people might be interested in this issue? For instance, would the Leaf and/or Volt, etc., people, feel enough "solidarity" that some might take the time to come join in?
     
  11. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    While I'm always in favor of greater Tesla visibility (like driving around Head of the Charles),, I agree with Robert and David that this is more about consumer choice and distribution innovation than about EVs. But I'd be happy to try to park somewhere together and get lunch. You could try to combine both by booking a table at Four Seasons and calling valet desk to see of they would leave several of our cars in the spots out front...
     
  12. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    I'm willing to take on the action item of dealing with the Four Seasons -- tomorrow, I'm swamped today -- but first need a rough headcount. Is 8 or 10 likely? More? Or less? Opinions, please. (I'll count up the number of confirmed "yes" posts on this thread tomorrow.)

     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    How do we eat as a large party and get to the State House by 1pm? Eat at 11am?
     
  14. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    I suggest that MA residents call and write to their MA state house rep and state senator about this ASAP. Sometimes by the time a hearing occurs, elected officials have already made up their minds on an issue.

    Even better is to visit the district office of an elected official and speak to staff or if you're lucky the elected official on an issue. I prevented my CA state assembly member from supporting a bill on an unrelated issue by visiting her district office to speak with staff, followed by another visit to speak with my assembly member. I had to get to her before the state senator who was sponsoring the bill had secured her support.
     
  15. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Statehouse is 5-10 minutes on foot from the Four Seasons. We could lunch a bit early, say 11:30 or even 11:45.

     
  16. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    Good luck guys. Thanks for this and please keep us posted on what happens.
     
  17. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Some of us have already written our representatives, but I'm sure we could use more people doing so!

     
  18. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    When I called rep. Linsky's office (regarding having him attend our dinner gathering) they suggested that we "get there early" so we can get our names on the list of speakers.
     
  19. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    How early? (I admit that this is putting ever more pressure on the lunch idea.)

     
  20. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    If only I had a memory, I'll try calling the office again tomorrow.
     

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