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West Virginia Governor’s Favoritism
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West Virginia Governor’s Favoritism

In United States, capitalism is supposed to be based on freedom of competitive enterprise. Yet, the governor of West Virginia, Earl Ray Tomblin, proved this week that he cares more about his friends and their needs than a free market when he signed a bill designed to block Tesla Motors from selling its vehicles in the state.

Chris Stadelman, Tomblin’s spokesperson, claims that the bill is designed to help local auto dealers and that it is important “to the fabric of West Virginia communities.” He also claims that it somehow supports “civic and non-profit groups.”

But, the reality is that Tomblin admitted to legislators at the end of March that he has friends who are car dealers and that the “direct-to-customer” model that Tesla Motors uses is bad for West Virginia traditional automobile franchises. Nowhere in Tomblin’s statements does he mention anything about how pushing out Tesla supports West Virginians.

In fact, blocking Tesla Motors vehicle sales only supports traditional fuel car dealers and the national dealer’s lobby that has been lobbying heavily to get Tesla Motors pushed out of the United States entirely. According to terra.com, Electric vehicles don’t require fossil fuels and they are better for the environment than traditional vehicles offered by dealers. Tesla vehicles are also less expensive. Yet, across the nation, Tesla is not allowed to give consumers test drives, pricing or sell their vehicles at gallery sites.