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.Read the whole thing because it's really eye-popping if even partially true. Here's a map of all the closed dealerships, 789 to be exact:
A pretty standard distribution. It's likely that when the dealerships in question are plotted it won't look much different. Why? Because if something nefarious were occurring they wouldn't want to telegraph it by leaving gaping holes in certain markets. Indeed, as DB's article links, the closing criteria consisted of:
"sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area."So what's the rub? The rub is potential to use the closings to get rid of political opponents or reduce their viability.
Theoretically, if Dem operatives were able to get influence as to the closing list they might desire to pick off some heavy GOP donors in key markets. Two things would be accomplished, 1) it would remove income for those heavy hitting GOP donors, diluting their future ability to donate and 2) it would remove competition for the remaining Dem-friendly dealers so they make more money and in return CONTRIBUTE MORE to the party as payback. That's what Chicago politicians might do. Theoretically, of course.
Could be nothing--just some whining from the losers, yet it's the kind of story 60 Minutes has built a cottage industry around. With GM slated to close up to 2600 dealerships if it follows Chrysler into a packaged bankruptcy there is potentially more to come. A big-league investigation team might be able to crack this conspiracy or put it to rest. Hopefully they're working on it.
But chances are they won't touch it with a forty-foot pole, not only because most are loyal Democrats who voted for Obama (made clear at the Correspondents Dinner) but because print media is itself behind an eight ball with many in jeopardy of being shut down or bailed out by the government. The intimidation factor is powerful, even if it's just the perception of intimidation without any substance whatsoever.