NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What New Jersey is doing to Tesla (TSLA) makes me sick. We are a nation built on entrepreneurship and innovation. If someone builds a better mouse trap, they are usually rewarded. Yet not this time.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission voted Tuesday to ban the electric car maker from directly selling its automobiles to the public in New Jersey. New York lawmakers are currently debating similar language intended to drive Tesla out of the state.
Palo Alto, Calif-based Tesla can technically still sell its electric cars in New Jersey but only through a dealer, and that's not going to happen. Dealers contract with a major car manufacturer and would like nothing more than to see Tesla driven into the ground.
Are we to assume that the legislators came up with this idea to block Tesla all on their own? I'm guessing not. It's more likely that lobbyists paid for by the car dealerships of New Jersey wrote the exact language in this new legislation.
Did you know that for every one dollar spent on lobbyists, companies generally receive anywhere from $6 to $20 in legislation or tax breaks? How does this happen? Lobbyists hold the money and campaign contributions. If elected officials want to stay in office, they have to give them an ear.
It's virtually impossible to prove that the lobbyist money going to these elected officials is "quid pro quo," but what do you think? Does the blocking of free-market capitalism help their constituency? Do you think the people contributing to these elected officials campaigns would donate this money if they didn't hope to get protection of some sort? I hate to go all "tin-foil cap" on you, but what other excuse is there? This will do one of two things for their voters: Raise prices or limit their options.
Tesla will be forced to sell through middleman dealerships which drive up costs for consumers, or they'll have to leave the state completely. The only people who win are owners of car dealerships.
This inhibits innovators and more mouse trap builders. I will never own a Tesla. I'm not a fan of their stock price. I've thought they were overvalued since they were in the $40's, but I am all for a free market. This is not a free market. This is good old boy legislation, and against the American way.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.