Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Evidence Politics Played Role In Chrysler Closings

There is more circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Obama administration is playing politics in its handling of Chrysler's bankruptcy by targeting Republican-owned dealerships disproportionately for closure. Gateway Pundit points out that a string of dealerships in Missouri and Arkansas owned by Democratic big shots, Mac McLarty, a former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, and Black Entertainment Television's Robert Johnson, a big Obama supporter, were saved while dealerships owned by the chain's local competitors got axed. There is also the disclosure by the Washington Examiner that Obama auto czar Steven Rattner is married to a big-time Democratic fundraiser and former finance chair for the DNC, Maureen White. An analysis of the 789 dealership closings indicates that 90% are big contributors to the GOP, while less than 10% were big contributors to Obama and the Democrats. Indiana's Gene Beltz and Michael Leep, both big GOP contributors, were among the dealerships on the closure list.

4 comments:

IndyPaul said...

This 'evidence' looses any weight when you consider that nearly 90% of the dealers are Republican to begin with. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/05/news-flash-car-dealers-are-republicans.html

The Bird said...

The Palmer Dodge owners are big GOP contributors as well.

Dana said...

Have you considered that dealerships run by Republicans are simply badly run and unprofitable?

I mean, keywords, Republican, incompetent, unprofitable all go together...

I really, REALLY doubt that the Obama Admin is targeting Republican-owned car dealerships. It doesn't track, and sounds like a 'Net-born conspiracy theory.

Lord Peter said...

Car dealers and their relationship with the Republican party are a good example of what's wrong with the GOP today.

As the Nate Silver bit makes clear, 88% of car dealers are big R donors. Fair enough: they are small businesses, many of them run by quite wealthy individuals, so it makes sense that they would support a low-tax, low-regulation party.

But...car dealerships are also the beneficiary of numerous laws designed to protect them from competition; these laws are also sponsored by R's. As recent news articles have made clear, state laws make it almost impossible for manufacturers to close dealerships - in 2000, state laws required GM to give billions to Olds dealers to be able to stop manufacturing money-losing Oldsmobiles. To my mind, this is more egregious than anything the UAW did.

Indiana also has a law the prohibits new dealerships from opening up within 10 or 6 miles (depending) of an existing dealership...again, designed to protect dealers. (Note that this also explains why most Indy car dealerships are on the edge of the city - you can open more dealerships that way.

So what are we left with? A party that talks low taxes/low regulation, but that is just as happy as the D's to impose regulations to help their favored businesses. And this is really, in a microcosm, part of what caused people to grow tired of the recent R. administration...it talked about free markets, but was more than eager to institute anti-free market policies to help favored donors at every turn.

The D's, at least, were honest about their plans to help favored groups.