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Owner of campaign bus company: Secret Service hurting my business ("The Obama Effect")
Daily Caller ^ | 08/22/2011 | Alex Pappas

Posted on 08/22/2011 2:50:51 AM PDT by markomalley

President Obama took off on a road trip across the Midwest last week in a brand new government-owned bus to talk with ordinary people about getting the economy going again.

But Johnny Williams, an Alabama businessman who makes a living by leasing these kinds of buses to political figures, said the Obama tour was just a painful reminder of how the government is doing things that could hurt his business.

That’s because this is the first presidential election where the incumbent president and the eventual Republican nominee will have the option of using a Secret Service-owned bus for campaign tours instead of leasing one from someone like Williams. Earlier this year, the Secret Service, citing security concerns, purchased two buses of their own for this purpose.

“The government went into competition with me,” Williams lamented to The Daily Caller. “Something is not right, or fair about this.”

Williams, whose company John L. Productions has leased buses to presidential campaigns since 1988, fears he could now lose business over it.

“This eliminates the need for my services,” he said, “thus killing off another small business owner.”

In the past, the Secret Service would pay to install extra security features on buses candidates under their protection would lease from people like Williams.

His company’s history of driving around presidents and presidential candidates span from George H.W. Bush in 1988 to John McCain in 2008. Other candidates who have used his buses include Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, George W. Bush, Gary Bauer, John Edwards, John Kerry and Sam Brownback.

In an interview, Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said the buses were purchased to offer those under their protection the option of using a more secure bus.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody’s business,” Donovan responded.

Donovan also pointed out that it’s possible for Obama or the Republican nominee to lease a bus from someone like Williams instead of using one owned by the Secret Service.

“The President of the United States doesn’t have to get into a vehicle we have,” he said. “I mean, he could say, ‘I want to drive in a convertible.’ But we have to make recommendations based on our intelligence, our information and our experience. And that’s what we go with.”

Williams said he’ll make the pitch to candidates that there’s an advantage to leasing a bus from him, instead of using the government’s bus. For one thing, they can’t display campaign logos on the all-black Secret Service bus, he pointed out.

“It’s government property,” Donovan said. “It’s the same as one of our limousines. You never see anything on the side of one of our cars.”

The Secret Service purchased their two new buses from the Tennessee-based Hemphill Brothers Coach Company. The Daily Caller was unable to reach the owners at Hemphill Brothers, a competitor to Williams’ business. A woman who answered the phone at the company’s office refused to give her name but said the company isn’t commenting on the issue.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: bhofascism; economy; elections; govtcompetition; obama; obamabus; obamasbus; secretservice; smallbusiness
The Obama Effect: everything he touches, turns to dung.
1 posted on 08/22/2011 2:50:56 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley
“The President of the United States doesn’t have to get into a vehicle we have,” he said. “I mean, he could say, ‘I want to drive in a convertible.’ But we have to make recommendations based on our intelligence, our information and our experience. And that’s what we go with.”

Did Williams really think about that remark before he said it??

2 posted on 08/22/2011 2:55:31 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: markomalley

So this guy makes his living leasing buses every four years? Wow, what a job! I’d like to have that gig. Oh, and the buses that Obama bought with taxpayers money were bought from Canada. They were outfitted in the US.


3 posted on 08/22/2011 2:56:35 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: markomalley

It kept Obama from having to lease a bus. He got the use of it for free.

He claims it wasn’t a Campaign tour.
Probably one of the biggest lies of the year.

This was just another example of wasted money,in a time when we don’t have money to waste.


4 posted on 08/22/2011 2:57:59 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: markomalley
“We’re not trying to hurt anybody’s business,” Donovan responded.

No, the government just blundered around, like elephants at a day-care center, and Mr. Williams just happened to get crushed.

5 posted on 08/22/2011 3:10:45 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be a slave)
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To: markomalley
“We’re not trying to hurt anybody’s business,” Donovan responded.

No, the government just blundered around, like elephants at a day-care center, and Mr. Williams just happened to get crushed.

6 posted on 08/22/2011 3:10:54 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be a slave)
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To: Haiku Guy

And then it double-posted...


7 posted on 08/22/2011 3:12:03 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be a slave)
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To: Venturer

This is yet another example of where an Obama screw-up winds up enshrined as policy because these people are too arrogant to admit that they made a mistake.


8 posted on 08/22/2011 3:13:35 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be a slave)
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To: Haiku Guy
"And then it double-posted..."

That's OK, your post was well worth it.

9 posted on 08/22/2011 3:21:44 AM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik ("The trouble with internet quotations is that you don't know if they are true"-Abraham Lincoln.)
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To: markomalley
"everything he touches, turns to dung."

Because he is DUNG. . . . .

10 posted on 08/22/2011 3:29:53 AM PDT by DeaconRed (To the idiots that didn't believe us about ZERO: Hope you enjoy your less than a dollar in change.)
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To: markomalley

“The government went into competition with me,” Williams lamented to The Daily Caller. “Something is not right, or fair about this.”

Quick question for him, did he vote for Obama?

Obama also ‘saved or created’ a job in Canada with the purchase of those two busses.
Note, no job in AMERICA was stimulated by Obama’s actions in this.


11 posted on 08/22/2011 3:30:53 AM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: Voter#537

One term Dung. . . .


12 posted on 08/22/2011 3:31:01 AM PDT by DeaconRed (To the idiots that didn't believe us about ZERO: Hope you enjoy your less than a dollar in change.)
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To: Truth29

I’m pretty sure that Donovan made that remark not John Williams.


13 posted on 08/22/2011 3:59:52 AM PDT by rhubarbk
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To: rhubarbk

You’re right.


14 posted on 08/22/2011 4:03:40 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: caver

He leases his busses to Rock Stars or CW people....not just campaigners.


15 posted on 08/22/2011 4:13:06 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion is the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: markomalley

Sooooooo, the Republican nominee gets that Burgundy bus to ride around in??????


16 posted on 08/22/2011 4:15:07 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion is the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Ann Archy

So he won’t be going out of business then.


17 posted on 08/22/2011 4:19:24 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: caver

no.


18 posted on 08/22/2011 4:24:46 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion is the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: markomalley

This is one case where there’s nothing to complain about.

When the SS rented buses, they would rent the bus, modify it for better security, unmodify it at the end of the campaign, and then turn it back over to the rental company.

Buying the buses saves vast amounts of money over time.


19 posted on 08/22/2011 4:32:53 AM PDT by Domalais
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To: Domalais

Utter unfounded speculation on your part.


20 posted on 08/22/2011 4:36:07 AM PDT by bvw
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To: caver

Watergate on wheels


21 posted on 08/22/2011 4:36:07 AM PDT by mdel747
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To: Domalais

Utter unfounded speculation on your part.


22 posted on 08/22/2011 4:36:32 AM PDT by bvw
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To: rhubarbk

That makes it even worse — a Secret Service agent suggesting that the President ride in a convertible.


23 posted on 08/22/2011 4:46:27 AM PDT by 10thAmendmentGuy
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To: bvw; Domalais

In the past, the Secret Service has leased buses, adding protective armor and advanced communications capabilities that must be stripped from the buses to restore them to their original condition before they are returned. It was an expensive practice, costing tens of thousands of dollars per month, Donovan said, and the Secret Service expects the new buses will ultimately save money over time.

http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/obamas-million-dollar-buses/


24 posted on 08/22/2011 4:50:10 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Domalais
Buying the buses saves vast amounts of money over time.

Well, heck yeah. Never mind that the SS offer of this black mortuary can precludes the application of graphics identifying the challenger and making it indistinguishable from Obama's Debt Star. Screw that First Amendment thingie, it's so eighteenth century.

And here's the other thing to keep in mind. Incumbent presidents of both parties have secretly taped conversations with the tacit approval of the Ss. Can you doubt that given the Patriot Act and the current Homeland Security lap dog won't be tempted to bug the opposition bus?

25 posted on 08/22/2011 5:05:10 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
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To: ilovesarah2012
In the past, the Secret Service has leased buses, adding protective armor and advanced communications capabilities that must be stripped from the buses to restore them to their original condition before they are returned. It was an expensive practice, costing tens of thousands of dollars per month, Donovan said, and the Secret Service expects the new buses will ultimately save money over time.

Only the government can figure it makes sense to spend over a million dollars to avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars for a few months every four years.

26 posted on 08/22/2011 5:07:45 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be a slave)
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To: caver

It warms my heart to see some leech on the government tit fall off. They really squeal really, really loud when it happens.

Then, they are forced to join the COMPETITIVE PRIVATE economy to survive.


27 posted on 08/22/2011 5:28:59 AM PDT by DH ( Rick Perry 2012...Be proud to be an American once again!)
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To: markomalley
Watergate is just so 20th century. Why not make the opposition candidate and close staff travel on a properly monitored vehicle?

ML/NJ

28 posted on 08/22/2011 5:30:36 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Ann Archy
Ann Archy wrote:
Sooooooo, the Republican nominee gets that Burgundy bus to ride around in??????
Only a Republican who wants to throw the general election would do that. These loser cruisers are now toxic. They are an example of "stimulus spending" gone awry. No Republican challenger who wants to win the election will be in the same state as one of these buses at any point in time.

By allowing these things to be so purely political and rolling them out so soon, the Secret Service messed up. These things should have been unveiled at the conventions in 2012. They should have been American made, as much as possible with as much domestic content as we can get. They should have been more frugal with taxpayer money, and the actual savings and payback time should be published, and it should make financial sense. Claims that "this will save money in the long run" are so vague as to be meaningless. Over how long a period? The story is that the Secret Service spent "tens of thousands of dollars" modifying leased buses for security. It takes a lot of years, spending tens of thousands of dollars every four years, to burn through $1.1 million. I'm skeptical that this move made any kind of financial sense.

I'd also like to see the request for bids and specifications for the original open bid contract for acquiring these "debt stars." If this wasn't a competitive bid situation, and if the guy complaining in this article was somehow unable to bid on this business, even though he had previously leased his motor coaches to candidates, then something is wrong. This could have been a $2 million payoff to a supporter. If we had any investigative reporters left in the Propaganda Ministry (formerly "the press" or "the media"), some of them would be investigating this. Since they are all Obama cheerleaders, it will not be looked at, except maybe by right wing bloggers.

Darksheare wrote:
Obama also ‘saved or created’ a job in Canada with the purchase of those two busses.
Note, no job in AMERICA was stimulated by Obama’s actions in this.
You're jumping to some conclusions here. Even the article has statements that say you are overstating things.

An American company (in Tennessee) did the customization and modifications for the Secret Service. These buses weren't put into service exactly as they rolled off the assembly line in Quebec.

I wonder whether any American companies bid on this deal with American made motor coaches. We do have some domestic producers who compete with Prevost.

Domalais wrote:
This is one case where there’s nothing to complain about.

When the SS rented buses, they would rent the bus, modify it for better security, unmodify it at the end of the campaign, and then turn it back over to the rental company.

Buying the buses saves vast amounts of money over time.
That remains to be seen. Unless someone in the Propaganda Ministry (formerly"the press") starts asking real questions, we won't know.

I seriously doubt that the payoff period on these motor coaches, compared to lease/modify/unmodify/return costs, is anything short of decades. It takes a long time, spending $10K to $50K for modifications and restoration, to burn through $1.1 million, which was the cost of each of these loser cruisers.

29 posted on 08/22/2011 5:38:46 AM PDT by cc2k ( If having an "R" makes you conservative, does walking into a barn make you a horse's (_*_)?)
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To: Covenantor
Can you doubt that given the Patriot Act and the current Homeland Security lap dog won't be tempted to bug the opposition bus?

I've been thinking that exact same thing.

30 posted on 08/22/2011 5:39:49 AM PDT by alicewonders
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To: markomalley
Dang it, Sarah Palin and her bus tour caused this! Now the taxpayers have to buy buses for Obama.
31 posted on 08/22/2011 5:41:10 AM PDT by pepperdog (Why are Democrats Afraid of a Voter ID Law?)
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To: pepperdog
I should add that Newell makes multi-million dollar coaches right here in Oklahoma. It's where the SUCCESSFUL entertainers buy their coaches!
32 posted on 08/22/2011 5:54:04 AM PDT by pepperdog (Why are Democrats Afraid of a Voter ID Law?)
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To: DH

We would probably be surprised by the number of companies that survive off the government.


33 posted on 08/22/2011 5:55:43 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: pepperdog

That’s right! It is Sarah Palin’s FAULT!


34 posted on 08/22/2011 5:55:50 AM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Where is our military?)
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To: Truth29

LOL


35 posted on 08/22/2011 6:02:39 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: caver

I am not surprised at all.

For example...think of how many CPA’s, bookkeepers, Tax Attorneys, software companies, and a whole host of other businesses that would not be in business if it not for the need of their services to comply, report and defend against the pen of government.

As the government creates a single regulation, tens of thousands of new “jobs” are created. The shame is that none of “the new jobs” were needed BEFORE the regulation was penned.


36 posted on 08/22/2011 6:18:04 AM PDT by DH ( Rick Perry 2012...Be proud to be an American once again!)
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To: DH

Good point!


37 posted on 08/22/2011 6:22:36 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: ilovesarah2012; Domalais
Pay attention:
"the Secret Service expects the new buses will ultimately save money over time."
IOW, they are much more expensive than lease and mod.
38 posted on 08/22/2011 6:43:04 AM PDT by bvw
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To: cc2k
cc2k be didth wroyte:
seriously doubt that the payoff period on these motor coaches, compared to lease/modify/unmodify/return costs, is anything short of decades. It takes a long time, spending $10K to $50K for modifications and restoration, to burn through $1.1 million, which was the cost of each of these loser cruisers.
20 years or longer. Which is ridiculous. Because buses in 10 years will be much improved over current, and buses in 20 years vastly improved. But in order to get the pay off from the Obama Mortuary Wagons we'd have to be running these damned buses with 2011 technology in 2031 and maybe even until 2041!

Leasing makes sense.

39 posted on 08/22/2011 6:54:43 AM PDT by bvw
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To: markomalley
...sssshhhhh....

Don't tell Obama he could buy an airplane to fly his bus around in...


40 posted on 08/22/2011 6:56:24 AM PDT by moovova (“There is nothing wrong with our country,” Obama said in a speech at a Holland, Mich. plant.)
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To: moovova

The SuperGuppy would fit the bus. Or Michelle.
Not both.


41 posted on 08/22/2011 7:24:53 AM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: markomalley
Too Much...


42 posted on 08/22/2011 7:41:55 AM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: markomalley

So if the government buys a couple of buses rather than lease them from this guy, that’s “unfair?”

Sorry, I just don’t buy it.


43 posted on 08/22/2011 7:54:14 AM PDT by Jeff Winston
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To: caver

>So this guy makes his living leasing buses every four years? Wow, what a job!<

Plus, you have to be incredibly bi-partisan in your dealings with both parties because it’s a business. Good for him. I’m pretty much out because I cannot stand libs nor Dumocraps.


44 posted on 08/22/2011 8:16:02 AM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FK BARAK)
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To: Covenantor

The SS supplied the buses for both President and challenger in the past, and modified them extensively. This is no different. They could bug either one.

It’s the SS’s obligation to protect the challenger. They aren’t going to let that challenger rent their own Greyhound.


45 posted on 08/22/2011 8:37:17 AM PDT by Domalais
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To: cc2k
I seriously doubt that the payoff period on these motor coaches, compared to lease/modify/unmodify/return costs, is anything short of decades. It takes a long time, spending $10K to $50K for modifications and restoration, to burn through $1.1 million, which was the cost of each of these loser cruisers.


I think you're drastically underestimating the level of security afforded the President if you think the modifications cost $10K to $50K.

They probably spent that much just on the fire suppression system.
46 posted on 08/22/2011 8:41:39 AM PDT by Domalais
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To: Domalais
Domalais wrote:
I think you're drastically underestimating the level of security afforded the President if you think the modifications cost $10K to $50K.
First, I don't know anything about what it would cost for the modifications.

Second, in several news articles about this, different Secret Service personnel have been quoted with the "tens of thousands of dollars" figure for the cost of modifying leased buses.

From a USNews.com story
The decision was made to purchase them rather than continue to retrofit leased buses for the temporary use of the president and other high-level protectees. That costs tens of thousands of dollars, and then the special features have to be removed when the bus is returned to the leasing company. Federal numbers crunchers figured it would be cheaper over the long run to buy the vehicles.
There have been other statements like this, and in some other articles, a guy named Donovan from the Secret Service was qouted about the costs and the savings. The figure stated for costs of the "old way" of leasing a motor coach and modifying it for security has consistently been described as "tens of thousands of dollars" in every article.

It takes a lot of "tens of thousands of dollars" spent every 4 years to make the $1.1 million cost of one of these motor coaches. I haven't seen any analysis of the actual costs anywhere.

Again, this could be legit. It might actually have saved the taxpayers money to buy these two monstrosities and outfit them. But the numbers given in the press reports don't add up to that. And there is nobody questioning this.

I still maintain that no self respecting Republican candidate will be seen in either of these loser cruisers. These toys belong to Emporer Obama, and won't be used by anyone else. Hopefully we can elect a leader who will sell them off soon, before they depreciate to no value at all.

47 posted on 08/22/2011 10:57:29 AM PDT by cc2k ( If having an "R" makes you conservative, does walking into a barn make you a horse's (_*_)?)
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