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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Gibson Guitar Goes Tea Party

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One business thinks the Federal Government has run amok... and isn't afraid to say so.


The invite was a definite nose-thumbing at the president, whose administration inadvertently helped turn Gibson, currently under investigation for the kind of wood it uses, into a rabble-rousing battle cry for the Tea Party and conservative media establishment.

The strange journey of the Nashville-based guitar maker’s CEO—from a typical day at the office to a barrage of media interviews to throwing red meat at right-wing personalities like Glenn Beck and ultimately flying to meet House Speaker John Boehner prior to Obama’s speech—began without warning at about 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

That’s when armed federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson facilities in Nashville and Memphis.

“It was a nightmare,” Juszkiewicz said in an interview a few days ago with Beck, himself a Gibson guitar owner....

“The federal bureaucracy is just out of hand,” he added. “And it seems to me there’s almost a class warfare, of companies versus people, rich versus poor, Republicans versus Democrats…and there’s just a lack of somebody that stands up and says, ‘I’m about everyone. I’m really about America and doing what’s good for the country and not fighting these little battles.’”

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