Awkward: Gibson guitar CEO invited to Obama’s jobs speech by Marsha Blackburn

In by Poor RichardLeave a Comment

In case you haven’t heard, the feds raided Gibson Guitars a couple of weeks ago and seized several million dollars worth of assets purportedly for using wood that may or may not have been illegal. Don’t worry, the federal government is looking into it and I’m sure they’ll be objective (facepalm). But Gibson isn’t taking this lying down.

From the Tennessean:

Half a dozen armed federal agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were searching the Gibson executive suite. Two of the company’s South Nashville guitar factories also had just been raided, along with one in Memphis.

By the time Juszkiewicz (pronounced Juss-ka-witz) reached his office, agents were forensically imaging his computer and carting out boxes of paperwork and company hard drives. At the factories, agents were loading trucks with pallets of rosewood and ebony, guitars, guitar necks, computers and shipping documents.

It was the second time in the past two years Gibson had been raided by federal agents in search of illegal imported woods. A 2009 case hasn’t led to any charges against the 117-year-old guitar maker, although it is continuing.

In both instances, federal authorities spelled out in search warrants that they suspect the company was illegally importing protected hardwoods from rapidly dwindling rain forests to make prized Gibson guitars.

In recent days, Gibson’s CEO has gone on a counterattack, telling various talk radio and TV news programs that the raids are an “outrageous abuse of federal power” that have unfairly singled out his company, perhaps for political reasons.

“There’s no doubt we’re being persecuted,” Juszkiewicz said. “But while I was sitting in my conference room, while agents blocked the door to my office, I decided two things. One, we were going to try and fight this in court. Secondly, we were going to give this issue visibility.”

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But that’s not the best part. Apparently Mr. Juszkiewicz has agreed to attend Obama’s controversial “jobs” speech with his representative Marsha Blackburn per her invitation. I don’t know but that just might be awkward.

And this little video shows why Mr. Juszkiewicz’s appearance at Obama’s “jobs” speech might be a little ironic as well as awkward: