Typical Tesla store showroom
The Michigan Attorney General insists that releasing communications between Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, key lawmakers, and the Michigan Dealers Association will lead to corporate harassment and intimidation, and additional lawsuits.
As we previously reported, Tesla has subpoenaed said information in order to prove that Michigan lawmakers made 11th hour decisions specifically to assure that the electric automaker can't operate in the state. The Detroit Free Press asserted that the lawsuit:
At this point, Model 3 reservation holders in the state of Michigan will have to drive to another state to get their vehicles.
" ... could provide a rare glimpse at what goes on among powerful lobbyists, state lawmakers and the governor’s office."
It comes as no surprise that parties involved are making every effort to quash the subpoenas. The hearing to decide if the communications would be released related to state lawmakers — Sen. Joe Hune, R-Gregory, and Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Lambertville — took place Friday, June 16, 2017.
Hune was the person responsible for rewriting the language to negatively affect Tesla. His wife works as a lobbyist for a firm that supports auto dealers. Sheppard was subpoenaed even though he was not in office when the legislation went into law. However, he previously told a Tesla representative that Michigan auto dealers and automakers don't want Tesla in the state. He went on to tell Tesla:
"So you're not going to be here."
The Hunes have yet to reply to the Freep's request for comment. Sheppard is also refusing to talk to the media due to pending litigation.
Assistant Attorney General Rock Wood explained to the courts that releasing such confidential communications generally only happens in criminal cases. Other situations sometimes include civil cases that involve voting or redistricting rights. He insists that if the courts release the information, it will be considered a strange exception for Tesla, and open the door for a multitude of similar cases to pop up. He also shared that there is a potential for ongoing corporate harassment and intimidation imposed on the state as a result of the court's decision. Wood said:
"This is a case by Tesla for Tesla and nobody else. They can't say this is a case for the greater good."
According to an update found on Electrek, Friday, June 16, 2017:
"Judge ruled this morning that they will have to produce all 3rd party communications regarding Tesla and the legislation."
Source: Detroit Free Press