Electric Cars and Political Scandal
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In the age of the Gulf oil spill and global warming, is the electric car a game-changer or an old technology not much improved for 100 years? We look at Tesla Motors of California, which got a warm welcome from investors when it went public yesterday. Also, Mayor Villaraigosa's free-ticket scandal. How did it get to be such a big deal? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, federal stimulus spending has fueled economic recovery. Is it now time for action against the deficit? Should President Obama break his pledge not to raise taxes for 98% of Americans? We hear a debate.
Banner image: The Tesla Model S electric car during the the second press preview day at the 2010 North American International Auto Show January 12, 2010 at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Fiorina Tries to Liken Herself to Feinstein ()
First, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina was raising money in Washington yesterday for her campaign against Democratic US Senator Barbara Boxer. Fiorina told reporters how different Boxer is from California's other Democratic Senator, Dianne Feinstein, even though Feinstein is chair of Boxer's re-election campaign. Dena Bunis is Washington Bureau Chief for the Orange County Register.
- Dena Bunis: Washington Bureau Chief, Orange County Register
Tesla Takes Investors on Another Joy Ride ()
Tesla Motors of Palo Alto makes electric cars, and it's the first American automobile company to go public since the Ford Motor Company started selling shares in 1956. After yesterday's Initial Public Offering, Tesla stock surged from $17 to a peak of $30, and closed today around $24. Tesla now makes a $109,000 electric Roadster, and plans to mass-produce a luxury model priced at $50,000, but it could be a long time before the company turns a profit.
- Chelsea Sexton: Founder, Lightning Rod Foundation, @vchels
- Angus Mackenzie: Editor in Chief, Motor Trend magazine
Villaraigosa's Ticketpalooza ()
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is under investigation by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, the District Attorney and now the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. It's all about free tickets to concerts, baseball and basketball games and award ceremonies where he's not a contestant. Jon Regardie, executive editor of the Downtown News, says the Mayor has allowed it to become a much bigger deal than it needed to be.
- Jon Regardie: Executive Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News
More Federal Stimulus Spending or a Switch to Austerity? ()
White House OMB Director Peter Orszag has announced his resignation and insiders say it's due to frustration with the lack of aggressive action against the growing fiscal deficit. President Obama is committed to pumping up the recovery with continued spending and to his campaign promise not to raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year. Is it time for increased federal stimulus spending or a switch to austerity? We hear a debate.
- Ed Luce: Washington Correspondent, Financial Times
- Alberto Alesina: Professor of Political Economics, Harvard University
- James Galbraith: Professor of Government and Economics, University of Texas at Austin
- Deirdre O’Shaughnessy: Editor, Cork Independent
- Stephen Sweeney: President, New Jersey State Senate
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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