Over at RedState, my friend Josh Painter has been following an intriguing story first started on blogs.
It seems that when digging through the list of Chrysler dealerships the Obama administration shut down, a very large number were Republican donors and only one was an Obama donor.
Josh wonder if Obama has a “car dealer enemies list”. He noted “Some dealers who got a thumbs down from Obama’s automotive panel told compelling stories about their situations that raised doubts about the process of selecting them for closing. One example, a dealership in Alvin, Texas, had increased its new car sales by 50% in the first four months of 2009, while other MOPAR dealers’ sales were in the tank. Another in Melbourne, Florida, had, at Chrysler’s insistence, totally renovated its facility financed by incurring millions of dollars of debt in the form of a bank mortgage. The are just two of many stories which highlight the incongruities to be found on the list of dealerships not deemed worthy to remain in operation.”
Stories like this led a blogger named Doug Ross to dig through the lists. Ross “started with the list of Chrysler and Dodge dealerships which will be closed as a result of the government-mandated Chrysler bankruptcy plan. Then he marked those dealers whose names appeared more than once in the list. Next, he checked which ones contributed to political campaigns. Every one of them had donated almost exclusively to Republican candidates. Ross found only one dealer on the closing list who had contributed to the Obama campaign, a $200 donor in Waco, Texas.”
One of the dealerships is owned by a Republican member of Congress. Another is a huge financier of Republicans in California. Naturally, though, that raised a question about those who were spared closure.
Josh Painter suggests the data makes it look bad. One of the components involved in saving dealerships was an examination of those dealers that competed with Chrysler’s products by having multiple dealerships of different brands. That did not stop Chrysler from saving “RLJ-McLarty-Landers, a company which operates six Chrysler dealerships in the South and lower Midwest.” The Landers in RLJ-McLarty-Landers is Steve Landers who also owns Ford and Toyota dealerships. More interestingly, the McLarty in the group is Mack McLarty, Bill Clinton’s old chief of staff. The third, RLJ, is Robert Johnson who founded Black Entertainment Television.
The most recent post by Josh Painter notes “the latest finding from the closure list is that there appears to be ‘an extremely high correlation between dealers closing and congressional districts BHO lost’”.
Whether the media will start digging into this is a story entirely separate from whether the suspicions now being generated are accurate.
Last Week for a Cheap Hotel at the RedState Gathering
The RedState.com Gathering in Atlanta, GA is set for August 1, 2009. Invited speakers include Gov. Mark Sanford, Congressmen Mike Pence and Tom Price, Senator Jim DeMint, Florida Speaker Marco Rubio, former Congressman Pat Toomey, and others.
The Grand Hyatt Atlanta is offering a nightly room rate of $99.00 for the nights of July 31st and August 1st, as well as free breakfasts that Saturday and Sunday.
But, to get a cheap hotel room, you need to register before June 1, 2009, or the hotel rate will jump to $119.00 a night. Registration only costs $15.00. You can register at http://redstate.kimbia.com/Atlanta. After registering, you’ll see a link to make your hotel reservation.
I hope to see you there.