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Congressional Democrats Discover Dealergate

That smell emanating from the Chrysler dealer closings has finally reached a level that forces prominent Democrats to complain. Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Daniel Maffei (all Democrats) sent a letter to President Obama asking for a "compelling justification" for the closings.

We are writing to express our concerns about General Motors' and Chrysler's decision to close profitable automobile dealerships across the country, and urge you to ask GM and Chrysler to delay final action on proposed closures pending further review of the decision to consolidate dealerships and the process by which Chrysler and GM selected the dealerships to close.

Closing these dealerships will put over 100,000 jobs at risk at a time when our country is shedding jobs at an alarming rate. We also question the criteria being used to determine which dealerships should be closed and the fundamental fairness involved in this effort. It is our view that the market rather than leaving it up to the manufacturers whose poor leadership contributed to their demise. Furthermore, we believe car dealers will be key players in any effort to revive the American auto industry. (emphasis mine)

It's no mystery what is really going on with this newfound Democrat respect for "fundamental fairness" and the free "market". Car dealers are high profile, integral players in their local markets. As such they necessarily have to establish their reputations and integrity locally. As former House Speaker Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill famously quipped, "all politics is local". The inevitable pushback on the Chrysler closings is a bottom up movement initiated and pursued by a constituent group that has a deep reservoir of good will and trust established over decades in local communities.

The overarching power grab by the Obama administration Auto Task Force is finally meeting an equal (or greater) force rising from Congressional Districts where people are losing jobs and families are displaced. There is no amount of high level deal making and central control from Washington that will appease these aggrieved parties if they see that the dealership closings have even a hint of cronyism or political self dealing. Their wrath will be directed at their Congressman. It appears that Steny Hoyer has already received the message.


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Comments (16)

Obama needs to get Hooson t... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Obama needs to get Hooson to argue his case for him.

ah, the joys of Central ... (Below threshold)

ah, the joys of Central Planning! The view from the Beltway is always neat and tidy...and awash with free money!

It's such a shame that R-E-A-L-I-T-Y has to rear its ugly head and spoil everything!

In this case, money does ta... (Below threshold)

In this case, money does talk. The auto dealerships are a huge money machine in the districts that they are being closed in. Some even belong to the Congresscritters. I ll bet if John Elway was to lodge a complaint, there would be action taken right away.

Barney Frank has already go... (Below threshold)

Barney Frank has already gotten one of his local dealers off the hook. Could it be because of his control over TARP funds?

I hope the democrat's inter... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I hope the democrat's internal bickering gets lots of attention in the legacy media, even if it's just at the local level. It will really be great if congress forces the public disclosure of the criteria used to determine which dealerships were rejected, particularly if it shows political contributions are a part of it. "Pay to play" seems to be standard fare in Chicago politics, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's shown that Obama is now using it on a national level.

House Majority Leader Steny... (Below threshold)
AllenS Author Profile Page:

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Daniel Maffei should not be asking questions, but rather demanding answers.

Now the Democrat congress g... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Now the Democrat congress gets to pretend to be bystanders again in a process in which they were an integral part. "We're shocked! Shocked we tell you!"

"Pay to play" see... (Below threshold)
"Pay to play" seems to be standard fare in Chicago politics, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's shown that Obama is now using it on a national level.

Sadly, I'm sure an underling would be "found" that would, of course, fall on his sword.

Or her... Mustn't forget th... (Below threshold)

Or her... Mustn't forget the pawns/fodder would, OF COURSE, be equal opportunity in this admin.

"House Majority Leader Sten... (Below threshold)

"House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Daniel Maffei should not be asking questions, but rather demanding answers."

They probably have, especially after Barney Frank got his turned into a 'protected species', but 'The Won' has swung a deal with Landers-McLarty that is probably providing returns to *him* and not the whiners.

Until such time as there is proof positive that Landers-McLarty is providing what to who in return for eliminating their competition it's a matter of determining who supported which party.

Geez, if you cant trust a d... (Below threshold)

Geez, if you cant trust a democrat - who can you trust?

The tactic is to cash starv... (Below threshold)

The tactic is to cash starve not only Republican districts, but those in Dem districts (except for close Obama allies) so that moderate and conservative Dems will toe the Won's line, or face the loss of their seats in Congress. ACORN/Obama will run their own slate of candidates using the billions in 'stimulus' funds earmarked to ACORN or ACORN-affiliated groups.

Do I smell smoke?... (Below threshold)

Do I smell smoke?

To be more precise,<p... (Below threshold)

To be more precise,

Paul Hoosen said,

With the complete absence of both smoke and fire evidence, the conspiracy myth still thrives.

Do I smell smoke?

What's to comment on - even... (Below threshold)

What's to comment on - even if we see smoke we'll get no answers

Here in California where pr... (Below threshold)

Here in California where property taxes are shipped to Sacramento, sales taxes tend to prop up local government. We received a phone call from the Chrysler dealer asking us to call our congresswoman and alert her to this loss of local revenue.
President Obama my have been able to attend a racist church for 20 years and still get elected, but throwing thousands of people out of work during a recession is going to leave a mark.






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