Some blogs are raising the question of whether Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison ought to be involved in the Chrylser dealership situation or avoid it altogether. While it might be nice to view this situation as a black and white issue, the questionable practices of the Obama administration have served as a call to action to protect dealership owners.
To review: the Obama administration order Chrysler to merge with foreign-owned Fiat. In the midst of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chrysler chose to shut down 789 of its dealerships across the country in three weeks. Sen. Hutchison introduced an amendment that would allow those dealerships, ordered to shut down by Obama’s car czar, to have 60 additional days to find other dealerships through which they could sell their cars.
Finally, there was an amendment proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R – S.C.) that would have cut the money previously assigned to Chrysler and GM. Sen. Hutchison voted against this in order that those companies not dissolve completely and leave a crater in our economy the size of two major automotive companies.
I understand the frustration of wanting to scrap the whole thing altogether, but I’m not sure that’s the best choice in these fragile economic times. What’s worse is the obvious targeting of dealerships in GOP strongholds around the country by Obama’s car czar. As mentioned earlier, the dealerships that closed gave to GOP candidates more than Democratic candidates by a ratio of 42 to 1. The Obama administration fired back that most dealership owners are Republicans. Josh Painter of Red State has a response to this:
If, as the Obama apologists claim, that most car dealers are Republicans, why does the Chrysler Dealer Council have more than twice as many dealers on it who donated to Democrats than those who gave to GOP candidates?
Indeed you can read more here about how the Democrats in power chose to shut down “non-friendly” (i.e. Republican donor) dealerships here. I linked to this image earlier, but it doesn’t hurt to show you again. The black dots are dealership closings. The counties are 2008 presidential race turnouts. You decide:
Finally, Rep. Ted Poe spoke on the House floor recently about the Chrysler situation. Asking the important questions, Rep. Poe wants to know what the criteria are for shutting down dealerships. In many cases, especially in Texas, these dealerships were quite successful. Rep. Ted Poe in his own words: