FACT CHECK: Mourdock Lies About His TEA Party-Fueled Lawsuit in New Ad

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Indianapolis, Ind.--Today, Joe Donnelly’s campaign for U.S. Senate responded to Richard Mourdock’s desperate attempt to label his lawsuit to liquidate Chrysler and kill over 100,000 Hoosier jobs as anything other than a partisan power grab.

“Richard Mourdock has stooped to a new low: lying about the fact that he sued to receive less money for Hoosier police officers and teachers than he would have received in settlement,” said Elizabeth Shappell, communications director. “Richard Mourdock pursued the lawsuit against Chrysler to increase his own TEA Party credentials, not because he had Indiana’s best interests in mind.  He spent over $2 million of our taxpayer funds on New York lawyers and a lawsuit that lost at every level to try to kill over 100,000 Hoosier jobs, all the while knowing that it was a financial loser even if he succeeded.  The only candidate in this race who stood up for and will continue to fight for Indiana workers is Joe Donnelly.”

Script

The Truth

V/O: When Barack Obama bailed out Chrysler he put millions in secured Hoosier retirements in jeopardy. Chrysler Has Repaid Their Loans From The Government In Full. [Motor Trend, 5/24/11]

The Auto Rescue Was A Bipartisan Project Started Under President George W. Bush. The auto rescue attracted broad biaprtisan support, including Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, and President George W. Bush, who extended emergency aid to the automakers in December 2008.  Reported the Wall Street Journal, “The Bush administration said it would lend $17.4 billion to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, buying them a few weeks of financial relief but leaving the biggest decisions about the industry's future to President-elect Barack Obama.  Under the White House plan, the companies are required to extract enough financial concessions from workers, suppliers, dealers and other stakeholders to demonstrate their long-term viability by the end of March.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/20/08]

Mourdock Allied With Tea Party In Pursuing Chrysler Lawsuit That Would Have Eliminated More Than 4,000 High-Paying Indiana Jobs. In 2009, Mourdock brought a lawsuit that challenged Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring, risking more than 4,000 high-paying Indiana jobs. Reported the Kokomo Tribune, “Allied with the Tea Party, Mourdock had fought tooth and nail to kill Chrysler's bankruptcy reorganization, preferring to see the company -- and more than 4,000 high-paying Kokomo jobs -- liquidated.” [Kokomo Tribune, 11/20/10]

Center For Automotive Research Study Found That Slowing Bankruptcy Settlement Could Endanger More Than 1 Million U.S. Jobs, Including More Than 100,000 In Indiana. Reported the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “More than 1 million U.S. jobs - and more than 100,000 in Indiana - are riding on whether the bankruptcies of Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. are quick and orderly, according to a prominent research center's study. . . . The jobs study, by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., says that almost 250,000 U.S. jobs will be lost by 2011 if the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies go smoothly. It said Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, respectively, will be hardest hit, with 85,000 losses. But if the bankruptcies are protracted, consumers will desert the carmakers, creating massive disruptions in the supply chain and huge job losses, the study said. In Indiana, 13,000 jobs would be lost by 2011 under the best- case scenario. But if the bankruptcies become open-ended, 124,000 Hoosier jobs could be lost, the study said.” [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 6/9/09]
Pension funds for police officers, teachers, and others were at risk. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Editorial: Notion That Buying Chrysler Bonds Was “‘Sound Decision’ Is Debatable.” In May 2009, wrote the editorial board of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “Whether buying Chrysler bonds was a ‘sound decision’ is debatable. Mourdock, a Republican, failed to mention the state and the teachers retirement fund bought the bonds in July 2008, a time when the rest of the world's financial communities knew Chrysler was in trouble. Daimler- Benz sold Chrysler the year before at a huge loss. Eight months before Indiana bought the bonds, Chrysler announced plans to eliminate 12,000 jobs and four vehicle models.” [Editorial, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 5/29/09]

Indianapolis Star Editorial: Mourdock Invested Pension Funds In “Risky Bonds.” In June 2009, wrote the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star, “Mourdock was fighting for $6 million that the state stands to lose in the Chrysler bankruptcy, based on risky bonds bought for 43 cents on the dollar last summer on behalf of pension funds for state police and teachers and a highway fund.” [Indianapolis Star, 6/10/09]

Herald-Times Editorial: Mourdock Made “Losing Decision” In Investing In Chrysler Debt. In June 2009, wrote the editorial board of the Herald-Times, “Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock made a losing decision a year ago in investing $42.5 million in secured Chrysler bonds. It looked like a good deal at the time, as the bonds were purchased at 43 cents on the dollar. But as anyone paying an ounce of attention to the national economy knows, things have gone from bad to worse for Chrysler in the last 12 months.” [Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN), 6/11/09]
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock fought back, taking Obama all the way to the Supreme Court.

Judge Rejected Objections, Ruled Secured Creditors Would Receive More Than They Would Under Liquidation. Reported the Daily Deal, “Gonzalez overruled the objections, claiming that the sale is not sub-rosa or secret, and that it will give the first-lien lenders more value than they would get in a liquidation of Chrysler, court papers said. ‘The first-lien lenders had numerous options under the Bankruptcy Code: They could have refused to consent to the sale or, having consented, they could have chosen to credit bid instead of agreeing to take cash,’ the judge said.” [Daily Deal, 6/3/09]

Bankruptcy Judge Approved Sale Of Chrysler. In June 2009, bankruptcy court judge Arthur Gonzalez approved the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Fiat. Reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Chrysler won a big victory yesterday when a federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of most of the Detroit automaker's assets to Italy's Fiat Group SpA. Although there will still be details to work before the company can actually emerge from bankruptcy reorganization, the judge's approval moved the company closer to a successful conclusion. . . . The sale to Fiat means Chrysler could be out of bankruptcy within the government's original time frame of 30 to 60 days. . . . As part of Chrysler's restructuring plan, a UAW retiree health care trust will receive a 55 percent stake in the new company, while Fiat will get a 20 percent stake that can increase to 35 percent. The remaining 10 percent of the company will be owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/2/09]

Bankruptcy Expert: Bankruptcy Judge Followed Law In Dealing With Secured Debt Held By Indiana Funds, Others. Reported the Herald-Times, “IU's Long said earlier on Tuesday that an argument previously made by Mourdock didn't seem to be justified. ‘He is correct that secured debt is the first thing to be settled in a bankruptcy but under the plan they're fighting, the secured debt is still the first to be settled. I can't fault (bankruptcy) Judge Arthur Gonzalez on this one. The $2 billion offer on the table for Chrysler's assets is the only offer on the table. Judge Gonzalez also heard testimony that if this deal isn't executed, Chrysler will be liquidated and is expected to recover about $800 million, which would leave about 10 cents on the dollar for the Indiana funds,’ the former bankruptcy attorney said.” [Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN), 6/10/09]

Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Rejected Mourdock’s Arguments. Reported the Evansville Courier & Press, “The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Friday afternoon overruled arguments by lawyers for Indiana pension funds and conditionally approved the sale of most Chrysler's assets to to a group led by Italy's Fiat Group SpA. The three-judge New York court, though, is keeping the deal on hold until Monday to allow an appeal to the high court, and Thomas Lauria, an attorney representing the trio of Indiana pension funds that have challenged the proposed sale, is planning an appeal. ‘We will be going to the Supreme Court to see if we can get some time to get this case considered by them,’ Lauria said after Friday's appeals court hearing.” [Evansville Courier & Press, 6/6/09

Supreme Court Denied Mourdock’s Application For Stay Of Chrysler Bankruptcy Proceedings. Reported the Associated Press, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Chrysler LLC's sale to Fiat, turning down a last- ditch appeal by opponents that included consumer groups and three Indiana pension plans. . . . The court issued a brief, unsigned opinion explaining its action. To obtain a delay, or stay, someone must show that at least four of the nine justices find that the issue raised is serious enough to warrant hearing a full appeal and that a majority of the court will conclude the lower court decision was wrong. ‘The applicants have not carried that burden,’ the court said.” [Associated Press, 6/10/09]

Chrysler Was Losing $100 Million A Day While Mourdock’s Appeal To Supreme Court Continued. Reported the Associated Press, “The plans tried to persuade the justices that there was no reason to rush to meet that deadline. But Chrysler, Fiat and the Obama administration stressed in response that Chrysler was losing $100 million every day its plants remain closed and that the deal would automatically terminate in less than a week, with no guarantee that a new agreement would be reached. If the closing is delayed by more than 10 days, the government will need to ‘either to increase its overall funding to the detriment of taxpayers, or abandon its role in the transaction,’ the administration said.” [Associated Press, 6/10/09]

Earlene Cougill: Here’s a guy who’s really doing his job.  He’s sticking up for teachers. Evansville Courier & Press:  Mourdock Suit Was Financial Loser From Day One. Reported the Evansville Courier & Press, “Over six weeks, he spent $2 million — more than the $1.6 million difference between the deal his investment managers had agreed to take, and the new one that he was fighting — on a legal battle that he would take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”  [Evansville Courier & Press, 10/7/12]

Teachers, Police Groups Did Not Publicly Comment On Chrysler Lawsuit. In June 2009, reported the Associated Press, “Neither the state teachers union nor police officers' groups have commented publicly about the issue, though Mourdock says he heard from retired teachers and state police who were glad he was fighting for their money.” [Associated Press, 6/11/09]

Chrysler Issued Statement Saying Mourdock Actions Put Funds at Risk for Further Loss. In 2009, reported the Kokomo Tribune, “The treasurer's actions lead one to wonder if his motives are financial or political, the statement from Chrysler continues. ‘Treasurer Mourdock has expressed that he takes his 'oath of office and fiduciary responsibilities very, very seriously,'’ the statement said. ‘Chrysler believes Treasurer Mourdock is risking significantly further loss, and would be living up to his fiduciary responsibilities by accepting the terms that 98 percent of other creditors accepted.’” [Kokomo Tribune, 5/27/09]
Wayne Flick: Richard stood up for us and our pension funds. Evansville Courier & Press:  Mourdock Suit Was Financial Loser From Day One. Reported the Evansville Courier & Press, “Over six weeks, he spent $2 million — more than the $1.6 million difference between the deal his investment managers had agreed to take, and the new one that he was fighting — on a legal battle that he would take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”  [Evansville Courier & Press, 10/7/12]

Teachers, Police Groups Did Not Publicly Comment On Chrysler Lawsuit. In June 2009, reported the Associated Press, “Neither the state teachers union nor police officers' groups have commented publicly about the issue, though Mourdock says he heard from retired teachers and state police who were glad he was fighting for their money.” [Associated Press, 6/11/09]

Chrysler Issued Statement Saying Mourdock Actions Put Funds at Risk for Further Loss. In 2009, reported the Kokomo Tribune, “The treasurer's actions lead one to wonder if his motives are financial or political, the statement from Chrysler continues. ‘Treasurer Mourdock has expressed that he takes his 'oath of office and fiduciary responsibilities very, very seriously,'’ the statement said. ‘Chrysler believes Treasurer Mourdock is risking significantly further loss, and would be living up to his fiduciary responsibilities by accepting the terms that 98 percent of other creditors accepted.’” [Kokomo Tribune, 5/27/09]
Mourdock:  I’m Richard Mourdock and I approve this message.  



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