Consumer advocate and 2 time Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader, has sent a letter spoofing the University if Michigan's choice for Commencement Speaker. The AP has a copy of it and we make it available here.
Dear Kelly Cunningham:
I see that you are the Director of Public Affairs at The University of Michigan whose areas of responsibility are major initiatives, legal and reputational issues.
Congrats to the U. of Michigan for having chosen Mary T. Barra, G.M.'s CEO, as your 2014 commencement speaker. She seems to be the embodiment of much that is wrong with corporate America. As such, she seems to be the perfect choice -- if she is seen by your students as as a role model of immorality in the world of commerce.
Here's why. From April 20th New York Times:
"But it was not until February that G.M. recalled millions of the Cobalts and other small cars for an ignition defect that it has now linked to 13 deaths. . .
"G.M.'s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, has called the company's slow response an "extraordinary" situation. But an analysis by The New York Times[sic] of the automaker's recalls since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 shows its handling of the ignition problem was not an isolated event: G.M. has repeatedly used letters, called technical service bulletins, to dealers and sometimes to car owners as stopgap safety measures instead of ordering timely recalls."
The cars that have been recalled are linked to injuries involving law suits.
Of particular interest is that Barra seems to have done nothing about recalling a dangerous car. The Times' article continues, "The following month [October, 2013], Ms. Barra, who was then vice president for global product development, received an email from a senior G.M. engineer, telling her that the Ion might have the same power steering problems that led to the recall of the Cobalt and G5."
So, G.M.'s Mary T. Barra, called G.M.'s slow response an "extraordinary" situation to the In testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel.
She lied about that and was obviously intimately involved with failure to recall dangerous automobiles.
She should serve as an excellent example, especially to female graduates, of character flaws in U.S.' major corporate CEO's, thereby teaching them how not to lead their lives in commerce or some other endeavor. No doubt, Ms. Barra's remarks to the students will be recorded and played in U of M's Business Ethics courses.
I'm sure U of M's reputation will be greatly enhanced by CEO Barra's appearance as your 2014 Commencement Speaker. i
In the future perhaps Michigan will choose Bernie Madoff when he is released from prison?
Go Fighting Wolverines!