Smith and Wesson's BANK targeted...


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mbt2001
January 29, 2013, 12:40 PM
Any chance in contacting Illinois representatives, or the Mayor himself and saying that this is blackmail and if it persists he will be arrested? How do we effectively combat this?

The TD Bank suddenly found itself in the cross-hairs of the high-calibre political debate over gun control after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent a letter to the bank's U.S. subsidiary asking it to stop lending money to gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson because the company doesn't support gun controls.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/control+advocates+target+loans+Smith+Wesson/7886480/story.html

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jamesbeat
January 29, 2013, 12:54 PM
So much for the 'free market'.
How dare he try to blackmail a bank into going against market pressure for his political ideals?

Ed N.
January 29, 2013, 12:58 PM
The bank would be wiser to refuse to lend money to Chicago....

wojownik
January 29, 2013, 01:01 PM
Arrested for what, exactly? I would hope that Smith and Wesson investigates if it has any civil recourse against a public official interfering in its lawful business activities (wrongful interference with contractual rights and relations ... particularly if S&W can cite any form of economic damages, ).

But as a criminal matter? I don't think so. This Chicago strong-arm nonsense may play at home, but hizzoner may have stepped across the line of interstate commerce on this one.

mbt2001
January 29, 2013, 01:06 PM
Arrested for what, exactly?

Coercion / Intimidation / Blackmail are all illegal. Quite frankly, I would like to know how receiving a letter from a government official advising to desist in a given activity could be seen as anything but inherently coercive?

If the Mayor wants to act like an activist, he can resign his post. Until then, he can and should be treated like the authority figure he is, which in this case is a charge for attempted blackmail and/or intimidation / coercion.

Edit:

S&W is doing nothing illegal... But the implication is that if S&W were to change it policies, the harassment would stop. Please.. seriously... try that on your girlfriend and tell me what happens.

Edit 2:

I wrote my Senator. Free speech applies to everyone, but in these cases, with political figures, like I said, it is coercive and who bears the brunt of the expenses for lawyers, etc... while political officials use their position as a pulpit? The tax payer does and that is wrong. He can change the laws in his city, become an activist, run for president or congress in the State or Fed, but not use his position to be a bully.

tarosean
January 29, 2013, 01:07 PM
Hmmmmm as i remember it, S&W was one of the first with gun control i.e. Locks built into their guns..

BCCL
January 29, 2013, 01:11 PM
Tortious interference with business, hope the gun companies sue Chicago and Emmanuel personally if the bank drops them.

Skribs
January 29, 2013, 01:11 PM
According to the text quoted in the article, it doesn't sound like he is being coercive or intimidating at all. He is just asking the bank to do what he wants. The bank can choose to accept or decline the offer.

If this is blackmail, then so is all of our letters to reps stating we will vote for them if they support us, and we will vote against them if they do not.

Queen_of_Thunder
January 29, 2013, 01:20 PM
Folks do you want to fight this? You can. How?

Just inquire of your local government where their funds are deposited. If they are say in BOA then convince your local government to switch. It wont take more than one or two cities to do this before the banks get the message.

mbt2001
January 29, 2013, 01:23 PM
According to the text quoted in the article, it doesn't sound like he is being coercive or intimidating at all.

Eh?

TD Bank currently aids the gun manufacturing industry through a $60-million revolving line of credit with Smith & Wesson, a gun manufacturer that produces the AR-15 - an assault weapon that was used by James Holmes to kill 12 people and wound 58 in a crowded movie theatre in Aurora," Emanuel's letter to TD CEO Bharat Masrani states. "I ask you to use your influence to push this company to find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban and comprehensive background checks.

From a private citizen or group, I would accept your point. From the Mayor of a huge city that is extremely well connected I disagree. It is inherently threatening especially when one considers the bailout, fed participation in the markets, etc... Basically, the bank is not so much a private business anymore, the government can and does exert influence over these institutions, as we have seen lately, resulting in them dropping S&W as a client because they are un-PC and the bank is afraid it will lose it's government support.

ClickClickD'oh
January 29, 2013, 01:30 PM
I guess there would just be too much irony to point out that the S&W M&P is one of the firearms allowed by the CPD for duty use....

hso
January 29, 2013, 01:34 PM
Let's not make hysterical claims.

It isn't blackmail, ...it's extortion (a great Chicago tradition).

wojownik
January 29, 2013, 01:45 PM
Criminal activity would be extortion / coercion / blackmail for ones own personal gain. This elected mayor of a major city is not saying "gimme $10,000 or we won't do business with you" (or gimme cash and I'll give you Obama's former Senate seat).

Yes, he is trying to strong arm a business, pitting them against another business. And, yes, I think he is doing this is direct coordination/collusion with the Obama administration (Rahm, of course, was Obama's former chief of staff). But, no, stamping our feet and and shouting this is dirty politics is ... well ... welcome the world of politics!

The bigger issue to discuss here is the strategy that is plainly emerging between several mayors and the White House. There is a cabal of elected officials in several major cities/states have decided that the legislative process is not sufficient for their ends, so they are are pursing very different extra-legal means to get their way - to pressure legitimate businesses in interfere in their legitimate and completely legal business activities. This same group of maniacs will try to do things like mandate what size soft drink you can have, etc. etc. They are out of control, and unfortunately costly and time intensive litigation is likely the only way to bottle them back up.

Pitting business against business is clearly one of their strategies. If possible, business should respond aggressively with reams of litigation against such officials who abuse their power in this manner.

Skribs
January 29, 2013, 01:45 PM
Obviously we don't see the whole letter, but I don't see any "or else" in there to suggest coersion or blackmail.

GlockFan
January 29, 2013, 01:59 PM
I find it ironic that Illinois credit rating just got downgraded and now the Rahmfather is trying to pull this.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

wooly bugger
January 29, 2013, 02:04 PM
According to the text quoted in the article, it doesn't sound like he is being coercive or intimidating at all. He is just asking the bank to do what he wants. The bank can choose to accept or decline the offer.

If this is blackmail, then so is all of our letters to reps stating we will vote for them if they support us, and we will vote against them if they do not.

It's kind of like when the Mafia "nicely" asks you to help them support their new insurance business.

Apples and oranges with the reps. That's democracy in action. We let them know what we want, and they either represent us or we find someone more suited. That's different from a powerful government official using veiled threats to impose his personal ideology to interfere in private transactions between two private parties.

wojownik
January 29, 2013, 02:23 PM
At least TD Bank officials said that “we respectfully decline to comment” on Emanuel’s letter. In other words, "don't drag us into your mess".

The financial coercion will continue to grow though - Chicago, NY and CT are all moving their pension fund investments away from businesses that manufacture firearms.

Fryerpower
January 29, 2013, 02:27 PM
Fox just did a nice piece on the story. They also brought up the letter by a Texas politician to the same companies letting them know that there are plenty of banks in Texas that would be happy to have their business.

Jim

CharlieDeltaJuliet
January 29, 2013, 02:34 PM
Remember, it is only free market a freedom of choice if it supports those in power..lol. I for one am proud of S&W and their products. It has became a witch hunt for gun owners, manufacturers and supporters. Prohibition ring a bell.....

pendennis
January 29, 2013, 02:35 PM
Happened to be watching Fox News a few minutes ago. According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, elected officials may not use the power of their office to interfere with businesses who lawfully engage in commerce. That includes speech, among other actions. Evidently Emmanuel's speech is a form of interference at the U.S. Constitutional level, in addtion to enacted tortious interference laws.

Emmanuel isn't the only one. One of the candidates for successor to Mayor Bloomberg has engaged in the same conduct (Bill De Blasio???).

pendennis
January 29, 2013, 02:39 PM
Criminal activity would be extortion / coercion / blackmail for ones own personal gain. This elected mayor of a major city is not saying "gimme $10,000 or we won't do business with you" (or gimme cash and I'll give you Obama's former Senate seat).

Yes, he is trying to strong arm a business, pitting them against another business. And, yes, I think he is doing this is direct coordination/collusion with the Obama administration (Rahm, of course, was Obama's former chief of staff). But, no, stamping our feet and and shouting this is dirty politics is ... well ... welcome the world of politics!

The bigger issue to discuss here is the strategy that is plainly emerging between several mayors and the White House. There is a cabal of elected officials in several major cities/states have decided that the legislative process is not sufficient for their ends, so they are are pursing very different extra-legal means to get their way - to pressure legitimate businesses in interfere in their legitimate and completely legal business activities. This same group of maniacs will try to do things like mandate what size soft drink you can have, etc. etc. They are out of control, and unfortunately costly and time intensive litigation is likely the only way to bottle them back up.

Pitting business against business is clearly one of their strategies. If possible, business should respond aggressively with reams of litigation against such officials who abuse their power in this manner.
Evidently, there are a lot of folks who disagree with you. An elected official can't use his office to interfere in the legal activity of any company. Expressing the opinion that a bank should cease doing business with a legally operating company, violates the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Emmanuel is using the power of his office to interfere in a legal contract.

gossamer
January 29, 2013, 04:11 PM
Evidently, there are a lot of folks who disagree with you.

And "A lot of folks" disagreed with gun rights, so what?


An elected official can't use his office to interfere in the legal activity of any company.

An elected officials can send a letter expressing their wishes, opinions, etc.. They've done it since the dawn of our republic. It's not illegal just because we don't agree with what that letter says.


Expressing the opinion that a bank should cease doing business with a legally operating company, violates the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

NO, it does not. This man expressing an opinion doesn't violate anything except the delicate (and often petty) sensibilities of people who disagree with that opinion. On the other hand, arresting someone because they wrote a letter containing no violations of any law is in fact a violation of the first amendment.

Emmanuel is using the power of his office to interfere in a legal contract.

No, he's not. Emmanuel has no legal jurisdiction over the parties involved. He's a mayor of a city using his name on a letterhead. So what?! Just because we don't like what he said or did doesn't make it illegal.

These distractions and manipulations are just taking bait and often as bad as the behavior they abhor. If we are going to chase every shiney object the anti-RKBA throws out there we are going to be so preoccupied with ridiculous BS we will never have time focus on the real inroads they can make.

wojownik
January 29, 2013, 04:28 PM
Evidently, you did not read my earlier post where I stated:

I would hope that Smith and Wesson investigates if it has any civil recourse against a public official interfering in its lawful business activities (wrongful interference with contractual rights and relations ... particularly if S&W can cite any form of economic damages, ).

Personally, I find Rahm's actions to be vile. I have found most of his actions to be vile. But is Rahm violating the 1st Amendment, as you claim? No, he is in fact exercising his rights under 1A. Being an elected official does not remove your 1st Amendment rights. Being seems to remove one's common sense, but it does not remove your rights to express one's lack of common sense.

If Rahm went just a step further - explicitly saying "do this, or else" - then he may have passed the thin line to tortious interference. But it does not appear that he did, explicitly. And TD had not (yet) done anything that we know about in response. So there are no damages yet. Just speech that we don't happen to agree with.\

Honestly, again, I think we are missing the forest for the trees here. This one action is distasteful, but it is part of a much broader strategy.

gunnutery
January 29, 2013, 07:02 PM
I'm not as worried on this one. I think banks are in things soley for money, not so much for morality. Banks finance hospitals that perform abortions, do business with bars, nudie bars and adult stores. Why should the bank view a gun manufacturer as any more harmful? IMO, gun manufacturers are probably safer, especially considering the market boom even before the panic. Also IMO, the other types of activities have contributed much more to our societal decay.

pendennis
January 29, 2013, 08:33 PM
And "A lot of folks" disagreed with gun rights, so what?

Don't know where you're headed with this response. My response to wojownik was directed to him, not you.

An elected officials can send a letter expressing their wishes, opinions, etc.. They've done it since the dawn of our republic. It's not illegal just because we don't agree with what that letter says.

It is, if he/she attempts to persuade a private party to alter contractual behavior with another private party. And that will be determined in a court of law, if the aggrieved party chooses to sue.

The 1st Amendment, like other enumerated and non-enumerated rights is not absolute. Political speech has its limits even within the realm of politics.

NO, it does not. This man expressing an opinion doesn't violate anything except the delicate (and often petty) sensibilities of people who disagree with that opinion. On the other hand, arresting someone because they wrote a letter containing no violations of any law is in fact a violation of the first amendment.

These are not "delicate (and often petty) sensibilities". They are words which affect markets and relations because of Emmanuel's prominent political position. Word have meaning and impact. You can ask anyone who spoke against U.S. involvement during WWI about the 1st Amendment, and ending up in jail. And these weren't just Emma Goldman and Eugene Debs types.

No, he's not. Emmanuel has no legal jurisdiction over the parties involved. He's a mayor of a city using his name on a letterhead. So what?! Just because we don't like what he said or did doesn't make it illegal.

He doesn't need "legal jurisdiction" over the parties involved. As I mentioned in my previous response, his office and notoriety carry powers that you and I do not. Whether his behavior has harmed someone would/will be determined in a court of law.

These distractions and manipulations are just taking bait and often as bad as the behavior they abhor. If we are going to chase every shiney object the anti-RKBA throws out there we are going to be so preoccupied with ridiculous BS we will never have time focus on the real inroads they can make.

You're experiencing tunnel vision, if you believe that the only approach to gun control comes in the guise of attacks on the 2nd Amendment. The attacks are coming via the Commerce Clause, the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, other Federal agencies, and a slew of local and state jurisdictions. The advocates of gun control are using every law, regulation, and arcane interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and extra-constitutional methods in their attack. The defense will have to be as broadly based as the attack.

OilyPablo
January 29, 2013, 08:46 PM
Here's a classy response:

http://freebeacon.com/cruz-to-rahm-dont-mess-with-texas/

RetiredUSNChief
January 29, 2013, 09:02 PM
Personally, I wouldn't be too surprised if Bank of America pulled their financial support from Sturm Ruger and Co over this.

They've already done so with McMillan Firearms in April of 2012 and American Spirit Arms just this month.

"According to Kelly McMillan, operations director of McMillan Firearms, in April 2012, Bank of America began terminating its business relationships with the company. McMillan said the company's accounts were in good standing and that a bank representative, Ray Fox, said the bank felt McMillan had moved from simple accessories to more involvement with manufacturing firearms. According to McMillan, when asked if this was a political decision, Fox replied that it was. Bank of America again closed service to a legally qualified gun store in January 2013. American Spirit Arms owner Joe Sirochman says Bank of America froze his account and later told him they did not believe he should be selling gun parts on the internet."

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_America#Gun_stores

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