Powerline Blog: The Gibson Guitar Saga Gets Steadily Curiouser
During a great conversation today with AR contributor Rick Saunders, I realized that I had not yet touched upon the Justice Department’s unbelievable raid of factories and facilities belonging to famed guitar maker Gibson. In the context of the Fast and Furious scandal and the ongoing NLRB/Boeing litigation, I think that the Gibson business makes the third leg of the GOP talking points stool for 2012. This election, more than any that I can remember, is about the size, scope, role and function of the federal government on a macro level — Fast and Furious, Boeing and Gibson are prime examples of unnecessary government overreach under the Obama administration.
In the case of Gibson, the government overreach is not only unnecessary, but nefarious. Including the materials linked within, there is no greater summary of the situation as it stands now than that done by John Hinderaker at Powerline two days ago. As always, the link is above, and an excerpt is below.
Mr. Juszkiewicz says that the government of the country where the rosewood comes from certified it for export, and Gibson jumps through rather elaborate hoops before it buys the wood after it is imported to the U.S. The Lacey Act, which puts American importers of exotic woods at risk, is discussed here. One of the ironies, as you might expect, is that America is a trivial importer of rosewood from Madagascar and India. Ninety-five percent of it goes to China, where it is used to make luxury items like $800,000 beds. So putting Gibson out of business isn’t going to do a whole lot for the forests of Madagascar.
It has come out that Juszkiewicz is a Republican donor, while the CEO of one of his principal competitors, C.F. Martin & Company, is a Democratic donor. Martin reportedly uses the same wood, but DOJ hasn’t raided them, leading to speculation that the Obama administration is sending a warning to Republican businessmen that they had better not oppose his re-election, lest they face criminal investigations. Normally such speculation would not be credible, but Eric Holder has politicized the Department of Justice to a point where such questions must be taken seriously.