Did Obama shut down Chrysler dealerships based on politics UPDATE: Not so fast

Update: As I caution below … while this is a post worthy story to be sure, be careful with this one. It’s way too early to be drawing conclusions … and Michelle Malkin not only makes the same point but cites some interesting evidence of Republicans who were shut down who might have deserved to be shut down.

Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan is on the list. What no one has mentioned, though, is that he has a record of financial shadiness and his dealerships have been embroiled in fraud lawsuits.

Then there’s Illinois/Missouri car dealer James Auffenberg, Jr., who was recently acquitted by a Virgin Islands jury in a massive tax and wire fraud case — but stillmay face civil action to collect millions in alleged unpaid taxes.

Of course this alone doesn’t mean there isn’t a correlation … but read with an open mind.

A number of bloggers have been doing some digging into the criterion for shutting down various Chrysler dealerships. The reason is pretty easy to understand. The closings seem arbitrary, rather than economics and is bolstered by this Neil Cavuto interview from last week … courtesy of Gateway.


The evidence that politics might be at the heart of which dealerships lived and which ones died is beginning to pile up and the results, while preliminary, are scary, and the kind of stuff I might expect from old style Chicago politics but not today. I hope I am wrong.

Doug Ross has a round up of the research being done on line right now and links to the folks doing the leg work. Again it’s preliminary, and all bloggers are cautioning … wait until all of the research is out … BUT … they are looking for help with this.

To quickly review the situation, I took all dealer owners whose names appeared more than once in the list. And, of those who contributed to political campaigns, every single one had donated almost exclusively to GOP candidates. While this isn’t an exhaustive review, it does have some ominous implications if it can be verified.

However, I also found additional research online at Scribd (author unknown), which also appears to point to a highly partisan decision-making process.

Consider the partial list of Chrysler dealership owners, listed below. You’ll notice that all were opponents of Barack Obama, most through sponsorship of GOP candidates and organizations, but a handful through Barack’s Democrat rivals (Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in 2008, for example).

For a partial list go to Doug Ross’ site.

Meanwhile “RedState“takes it a bit farther:

The list is heavy with influential Republicans and libertarians. Another name on the list is Ray Huffines, who owns a large dealerhsip in the Metro-Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The Huffines family have been major contributors to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) over the years.

Chrysler maintains that “sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area” were among the factors the company considered to determine which dealerships should be closed. However:

“In fact, there may have been other criteria involved: politics may have played a part. If this data can be validated, it would appear to be further proof that the Obama administration is willing to step over any line to advance its agenda.”

Another notable link: chrysler dealership shutdown.

Let me just caution … that this is still a partial list … but it don’t look good for free marketers.

Once again, to be repetitive, thanks to Instapundit foir the tip, who by the way has links to some other government motors shenanigans.

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