The right side of the blogosphere has been pursuing what some people are calling Dealergate, the basis of which was the observation that a very high percentage of the Chrysler dealerships that were closed as part of restructuring belong to Republican Party donors. In some cases, Democrat-friendly dealership groups actually increased their number of businesses while Republican donors were wiped out. Doug Ross was one of the leaders in checking it out, and his blog is a good source of information on it.
Both the White House and Chrysler claim that profitability, among other business-related factors, was part of the decision of who to put out of business. But, in this post, analysis of the dealers left standing shows other factors may have been in play:
All other factors being equal, given NADAM’s [National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers] expressed fears and the general comparative dealer profile it provided the Journal, the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher — probably much higher than the 25% overall average. In fact, it’s clear that NADAM expected that outcome, even if you heavily discount their worry that over 80% of minority-owned Chrysler dealers would be told to go away as overblown hyperbole.
But it would appear that all other factors were far from equal, and that influences other than bottom-line business considerations were prominent.
The last thing a bankrupt, taxpayer-underwritten Chrysler needs as it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy and regain viability is a less than optimal dealer network. Yet it seems that the company deliberately chose exactly that — or had it chosen for them.
There are maps at the link comparing closures to party affiliation and 2008 election results by party, and a lot more information.
Interesting that the results of acting by objective business criteria skewed so heavily in one party’s favor. Not so odd if the goal was payback. More information comes to light about this almost every day, from bloggers, since the legacy media is nowhere to be found on this story. I’ll keep watching.
H/T Protein Wisdom