Kansas governor blasts Wall Street, GM-haters

| Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who is running for governor of Michigan, was described by CNN as "America's Angriest Mayor" for his fiery defense last summer of the federal bailout of General Motors Co.

But Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson sounded like America's Angriest Governor Wednesday during an event where GM Chairman Ed Whitacre announced a $136 million investment in GM's Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City for the next-generation Malibu.

Parkinson slammed Wall Street for reckless lending practices that he claimed nearly took down the domestic auto industry "through no fault of its own."

Some might take exception to that. GM had been losing billions of dollars on its automotive operations years before Wall Street blew up. And previous Chrysler owners Daimler AG and Cerberus Capital Management did their best to put Chrysler into bankruptcy last year.

But Parkinson said GM deserved to be saved by a $50 billion federal government cash infusion and used the funds wisely.

“GM has done everything it said it would do and more,” Parkinson said.

To the populists and others who believed GM would fail despite the federal bailout, Parkinson said, "Where are you today?"

Parkinson isn't even running for anything. A former Republican who switched parties in 2006 to be the running mate of then-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sibelus, Parkinson became governor when Sibelus was tapped to become Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

He is not running for re-election this year. So, if elected, Bernero might assume the mantel of America's Angriest Governor.

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