RLC Coverage – Gary Johnson

June 18, 2011

What a time we had at the Conference!

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I could write a book on the full experience. Being present with many of my peers and superiors (and a few lessers in a certain crowd) has been something that I will never forget. I felt that I was completely in my element, and frankly, I was comfortable. I’ll be spitting out several articles in the next day or so concerning a few specific people (including a Presidential endorsement). Gary Johnson doesn’t get my Presidential pick, but it should not reflect on my personal opinion of the man; and indeed, his exclusion from the CNN Debate is an outrage when a Neo-Nazi like Ron Paul gets included.

I have a philosophy that, simply, presentation is half of everything. I think that it alone is Gary Johnson’s real shortcoming in lacking the support to become a ‘Tier-1′ candidate in the polls. After spending a little time with him, I see that Gary is really a decent and polite gentleman. His speech in the Grand Ballroom was favorable in its content and shows Gary as a true reformer – and the catch is, he has a winning approval rating in New Mexico (from whence he came) where he’s implemented so many of his reforms. I think that, when on the bully pulpit, if Governor Johnson could time his emphasis and articulate his message in a bit more charismatic manner, the silent majority of moderate’s across the country would line up to support him.

After his speech, he was respectful enough to We the Press to attend a small press conference – something that Newt Gingrich obviously didn’t feel compelled enough to do the day before. Personally, I think that Gary has a little ways to go in addressing the media; though he can generally defend his points well, I think that he may need a little personal detachment from the affair. I think that in the questioning that there was a moment or two where Governor Johnson may have felt attacked and defended himself in a manner that one would best use in a formal debate, not a small press conference with the media. A shortcoming I found in the Governor was his inability to fully explain his support of the Fair Tax, even though he spoke in favor of the plan in the Ballroom; however, he was also wise enough to not speak on it at all, ‘lest he be perceived as misinformed and stupid.

I have not selected him as my Presidential Candidate because of my personal disagreements with his interpretations of our nation’s problems; for instance, he feels that in legalizing Marijuana and making the path to legal residence easier, we’ll have defeated Illegal Immigration. Personally, though I support the legalization of Marijuana and reforming the process of legal residence, I don’t think it will make too large of a dent in the problem in this late hour. Illegal Immigrant’s aren’t any more stupid than we are, and I think that in general they enjoy the no-tax lifestyle of an illegal immigrant. However, I do not want my lack of endorsement to reflect poorly on Gary Johnson as a person; he was highly cordial and even took the time to get in a picture with me and some others on his way out, I find a rare level of sincerity in his intentions, and once again, his home-base state of New Mexico misses him enough to show that his previous policies have been both popular and effective.

Philadelphia Automobile Auction Disposes of Wide Range of Vehicles.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News January 1, 2004 By Bob Fernandez, The Philadelphia Inquirer Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Jan. 1–Horns honked, echoing in the cavernous former steel plant. Exhaust fumed out many tailpipes. A minivan thumped by on a flat tire, its model year and mileage written in white lettering on the windshield.

In the gathering crowd of about 150 bidders and spectators, expectation and conversation hummed. Then, with a bang of Harry Copeland’s gavel, another auction got under way on a recent Saturday at Capital Auto Auction Inc. in the Northeast.

During the next two hours, 190 vehicles were sold for between $60 and $3,000. Three days later, an additional 150 went in a Capital auction, and still more vehicles remained in the parking lot behind the company’s building.

The year-end holidays are surprisingly busy at Capital Auto, which has carved out an unusual niche in the region’s wholesale industry. The company sells thousands of vehicles, most of which are donated to the Salvation Army and other nonprofit and church groups.

These charitable donations are made heavily in the last two months of the year, when people are thinking about deducting the value of the donated vehicle from their federal income taxes, said Gabe Piorko, general manager of Capital Auto Auction.

Twenty-four hours a day, cars and SUVs are towed into the company’s lots, near the Cottman Avenue exit off I-95, from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Most of them have seen better days and will eventually go for $200 to $1,000. They are purchased in “as is” condition, and Capital Auto takes only cash or credit cards as payment.

Capital charges the Salvation Army and other nonprofits a flat fee for selling them, including the tows to the auction lot. After the sale, proceeds are returned to the charity. Piorko would not disclose his fees, but said Capital attempted to keep fees low and volume high.

“We’re no different than the thrift store,” Piorko said. “You know, when you donate clothes to a thrift store, they sell them. We do the same thing for cars.” Capital Auto has grown in recent years as vehicle donations have become popular with charities as a fund-raising tactic.

In addition, better-quality cars and record new-vehicle sales in recent years are creating a greater need for places to sell used cars, SUVs and pickup trucks efficiently, said Michael Hayes, chief operating officer of the National Auto Auction Association, a trade group in Frederick, Md.

The number of vehicles sold at auctions by his member companies rose 30 percent from 1997 to 2002, from 7.3 million vehicles to 9.5 million, Hayes said. site capital auto auction

Among the nation’s largest auto-auction companies is Manheim Auctions, whose biggest operation is in Lancaster County. It also owns Hatfield Auto Auction in Hatfield, Montgomery County, and the National Auto Dealers Exchange in Bordentown, Burlington County.

Unlike Capital Auto, which runs public auctions and sells to anybody who shows up with money to buy a vehicle, Manheim auctions vehicles only to other auto dealers and wholesalers.

Auto-auction companies allow dealers to unload vehicles they can’t sell, and the auction process sets prices in the used-vehicle market, Hayes said. “It’s a wonderful industry,” he said.

They are part of the broader wholesale industry, which moves products in bulk and is considered important to a smooth-functioning regional economy. The wholesale industry in the Philadelphia area employs 117,500 people, according to state and federal governments. in our site capital auto auction

Employment in the region’s wholesale industry grew by 7.1 percent, or 7,700 workers, in the last decade, or about half the rate of growth of the employment base. Employment in wholesalers that stocked and delivered durable goods, such as used vehicles, grew by 13.4 percent.

Capital Auto Auction, a privately held company with affiliated operations in Washington and New Hampshire, has been part of that growth. It opened here in 1997, selling about 200 cars a week, Piorko said. The company now moves about 600 cars in three weekly auctions, employing 17 people full-time and an additional 15 to 20 part-timers on auction days. They watch the lot, and drive vehicles to the staging area.

Through the week, Capital contracts for about 20 tow trucks to bring the cars onto the lot. Sometimes they pick up a gem. Scheduled for auction in January: a 1991 Alfa Romeo, 1995 BMW, 1970 Cutlass, and a replica of a 1928 Mercedes Benz. Piorko said they had all been donated to charities.

Capital Auto also takes vehicles from auto dealers, leasing companies, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (drug-forfeiture vehicles), and individuals. About half of what it sells comes through donations to the Salvation Army, Piorko said.

A Capital auction takes place in a former steel plant. The floors are thick concrete and the ceilings high, trapping cold air in winter months.

To stay warm, young couples and families — some with children in tow — waited for a recent auction on green lawn chairs parked around portable heaters. Behind them, men in wool hats nursed steaming coffee or chicken-noodle soup in white-foam containers. They were professional mechanics, hobbyists or auto dealers looking for a deal.

Brian Walters, 22, of Philadelphia, was one of those cupping a container of soup. He said he had bought five or six cars at Capital Auto as a sidelight venture in recent years. He works full-time in a warehouse.

Among the cars Walters had purchased at auction were a ’93 Chevy Cavalier for $300 and resold for $800, and a ’72 Buick Electra with leather interior. He bought the car for $650, and resold it, after some minor work, for $8,000. “It’s a hobby,” he said, noting that many of the people there were regulars.

The bidders are allowed to view the cars several hours before the auction. They can look under the hood as the car comes through the auction line. Good cars are interspersed in the auction line with junkers. This keeps bidders on their toes. “You don’t want the guys outside drinking coffee, you want them inside looking at the cars,” Piorko said.

Copeland, the auctioneer, makes the event move fast and attempts to generate enthusiasm. “Hey, we got a tow-through here for you,” Copeland gushed at one point, making it sound as if this “no-run” vehicle was about to get snapped right up. It didn’t.

A little while later, a red Chrysler sedan came through, and Copeland couldn’t get anybody to bite. “You got sixty dollars? She’s a running car!” he said as it was driven off the auction line and out of the building.


Robin Edwards
Robin Edwards

Mr. Flynn, who's your candidate now? We need an update...

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