Harman didn't respond to The Associated Press' request for comment

09/02/2010 10:00
Toyota has tried hard to be thought of as an American brand. Its efforts Air Maxinclude trying to become part of the nation's car culture. In recent years it broke into the highest ranks of the beloved U.S. Nike Shox Shoessport of auto racing, fielding cars in NASCAR races in front of millions of die-hard fans. Popular driver Rusty Wallace announced in November that his team would race in Toyotas starting with the 2010air shox season. Its U.S. charity doles out millions each year, sometimes in photo opportunities Nike Basketball Shoeswith politicians. It gave $5.6 million to charitable causes from mid-2007 to mid-2008, much of it focused on education and the environment, according to its most recent report. Toyota promised former President Bill Clinton's charity that it would spend $496,000 to sustain forests in the southern UnitedNike Air Force Shoes States. "Words cannot express the generosity that Toyota has shown Kentucky through industry job opportunities and community service," Sen. Jim Bunning, R- Ky., said in a 2006 Senate speech. Toyota's lobbying spending in Washington has risen as its U.S. sales have.air force Toyota spent $5 million last year lobbying on such issues as industry regulation, energy, labor laws, patents, trade, taxes and government contracting. That's more than five times what it spent a decade earlier, when Nike Dunk Shoesone of its lobbying reports acknowledged that its mission included "reducing unnecessary regulations." It is active in several trade associations that lobby, including the National Association of Manufacturers. Its Washington team is well connected. Its main liaison to the federal government on vehicle safety issues is Christopher Tinto, who worked for several years in NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation as a vehicle defect investigator and in its Office ofnike dunk Vehicle Safety Standards, where he mostly worked on heavy-truck braking standards. Among its lobbyists is Josephine Cooper, who was chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry coalition to which Toyota belongs, and who also worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and as an aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney when he was in Congress. Its lobbyists also include Tom Lehner, who was an aide to five senators and was the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's treasurer. Another lobbyist, Robert Chiappetta, organizes an annual event in which Toyota sends employees to Washington to lobby Congress and he was a delegate for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama at the 2008 Virginia Democratic Party Convention. Toyota recently retained Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a well-connected, bipartisan lobbying and public affairs firm that will help Toyota try to contain the damage in Washington, the AP has learned. On its Web site, the firm promises to "limit damage to reputation." The AP also has learned that Toyota has retained The Glover Park Group, a Democratic public affairs-lobbying firm, for crisis management. Ugg Stripe Cable Knit UGG Sundance boots UGG Sundance Grab bags UGG Ultra boots UGG Ultra Short boots UGG Ultra Tall boots