Friday, May 29, 2009

On the Chrysler Dealergate Controversy

Here's some information for readers on what's happening with the Obama administration's Chrysler "Dealergate" scandal. The media and leftist bloggers dismissed the fact that almost every single Chrysler dealer being shut down had ties to the GOP.

Via Memeorandum, Robert Stacy McCain has some background,"
What DealerGate Says About the Conservative 'Message' Problem":

Did the administration purposefully use its bailout-acquired influence to put the squeeze on Republican auto dealerships? It doesn't actually matter what the answer to that question is.

The point is, there was evidence to suggest that the Obama administration may have been wielding its economic power -- gained at future taxpayers' expense -- to punish political enemies. The accusation was serious enough to call for very thorough reporting, but the major media tried to dismiss the accusation before actually doing the reporting.
Malkin says:

Some professional journalists, however, have shown obstinate unwillingness to get to the bottom of the decision-making process.
Ask any good reporter. You get a tip that, if true, would be a big story, and so you check it out. I once spent two days in the Library of Congress trying to research such a lead. It didn't pan out, but until you've done the research, you don't know whether it's a story or not.
There's definitely more to this story than what leftists would have you believe. So I was pleased to see the International Business Daily picked up the story from conservative media and blogging outlets:

Earlier this month, Chrysler announced it was seeking permission from bankruptcy court to kill franchise agreements with 789 of its 3,181 dealers to save costs. Dealers, many of whom ran profitable businesses, told the media that the news was devastating.

Aside from the loss of a business, many of these franchisees may have something else in common: It looks like all the dealers who are losing their Chrysler franchises, with only a single exception found so far, have links to the Republican Party.

Chrysler, an American institution, is no longer being operated as a private-sector company. It's being run by a task force appointed by the White House. So far, the government has halved Chrysler's ad budget and forced it into a shotgun wedding with Italian carmaker Fiat.

Has it also directed the company to end its contracts with dealers who dared give contributions to the Republican Party and its candidates? The mainstream media seem less than curious. But the new media haven't shied away from asking the question.

"Many of the closed dealers were also major donors to Republican candidates and political action committees, a review of campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission shows," Kenneth Timmerman wrote at

"How do we account for the fact millions of dollars were contributed to GOP candidates by Chrysler who are being closed by the government, but only one has been found so far that is being closed that contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?" asked editorial page editor Mark Tapscott.

"The initial pass at the list of shuttered dealers showed they had donated, in the aggregate, millions to Republican candidates and PACs and a total of $200 to Barack Obama," writes blogger Doug Ross.

WorldNetDaily reviewed all 789 of the dealerships the company wants to close. It found that "owners contributed at least $450,000 to Republican presidential candidates and the GOP, while only $7,970 was donated to Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign and $2,200 was given to Sen. John Edwards' campaign. Obama received a combined total of only $450 in donations."

Has our political class grown so petty that it would use the power of government to punish the political opposition? We hope this isn't true. If it is, the country's in more trouble than we thought.

This story deserves a lot of attention.

Here's Doug Ross' latest, "
Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42 After The Dust Settles; Their Competition Gutted As Well."

Joey Smith has this, "
Information on Auto Task Force Influence on Chrysler Dealer Closings."

And see Gateway Pundit's latest, with links to previous reports, "
Dealergate Update: Corrupt Dem-Donating Auto Group Keeps Dealerships ...Update: Dem Dealerships Go From 40 to 42."


Average American said...

Leave it to the MSM to not touch this with a 10-foot pole. Maybe, just maybe this bullshit will actually backfire and nobama will be exposed for wwhat he is. I would hope that these dealers will fight back now that they see what happened to them, I know I would!

Dave said...

Welcome to comrade Obama's Amerika.

It isn't coming, it's already here.


The Vegas Art Guy said...

Where there is smoke there is fire, unless the left is involved, then it's part of the vast right wing conspiracy to cloud the issues and draw attention blah blah blah

geez I can't even finish that it's so full of crap!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Douglas: As you link, Doug Ross has been working hard on this. But I have big reservations, because I'm not seeing any information from him that takes away from his case. Exempli gratia: Ross shows the horrifying example that the closed down dealers contributed 95+% of their political contributions to the GOP. But as Nate Silver points out, in the universe of car dealers, closed and not closed, 88% of all contributions went to the GOP. This suggests to me that the political motivations were marginal, present, but not overwhelmingly so.

What bothers me about your post is that you are outraged that the press isn't digging into this. I think you are wrong. I think there's plenty of press digging. There's just a conscious decision not to use it. Surely the reporting on The One in the last two years should disabuse everyone that the press of this nation is dedicated to honest reporting. They are keeping an eye out for bailouts, and want to give their new partners full satisfaction. Side note: this story demands arithmetic and some statistical skills, and a willingness to crunch numbers. How many of our journalists can do this, let alone are willing to? A much better example is the quack Susan Roesgen. If you expect fairness and competence from her, you will lose every time, and be laughed at as a sucker for doing so.

Say it to yourself every time you need information: journalists are liars as a class, and the honest ones are unable or unwilling to do battle with the quacks. Susan Roesgen is the future (and not a long one) of journalism in this nation. Reform from within is hopeless, I think. Best to concentrate on providing an alternative. Your blog is one component of such.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster