Dealergate 6: The Clinton Factor

Since our last update of the blogger investigation into the Chrysler dealer closing fiasco now known as Dealergate, another significant benchmark has been met. All of the information from the .pdf list of Chrysler dealers remaining open has been put into spreadsheet format. With both lists now in this form, researchers are finally able to analyze the MOPAR dealer data and find significant patterns buried deep within it.

The number crunchers at Zero Hedge subjected the “safe” dealer data to quantitative analysis and made the first finding: There is a “noticeable and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors.” Doug Ross translates ZH’s math-speak into plain English:

Using raw donor data from OpenSecrets.org (865 megabytes of 2008 individual contribution records) and the list of Chrysler dealerships (both closed and open lists), their preliminary conclusions align with the anecdotal evidence. After a major data cleansing effort, they matched the information against dealer status (safe or nuked); the party affiliation of the contribution recipient; the presidential candidate to whom the dealer contributed (if applicable); the amount of the contribution; and the ZIP code of the dealership.

But one thing bothered Doug about ZH’s inference. The confidence level of their methodology was 87%, which while high, doesn’t quite approach the 95% to 97% levels that he calls the “gold standard” confidence interval. Doug did some investigation of his own and discovered the reason:

The database of dealership owners lists only a single party in each record. But many dealerships are owned by multiple parties. And, in some cases, those parties are billionaires who do not want their names listed as primary owners in these types of documents.

In other words, Zero Hedges greatly understated the already high correlation between dealer donations to the Clinton campaign and their status as a franchise which was allowed to remain in the Chrysler dealer network.

An illustration of how many Democrat donors are masked by the data can been seen in the case of  RLJ-McLarty-Landers, a partnership which owns a number of Chrysler dealerships which will remain open while other MOPAR dealers in RLJ’s markets were shut down. Neither former Clinton White House chief of staff Mack McLarty nor Robert Johnson, big-time Democrat campaigners and donors, have names which appear as owners in the database ZH used. Those dealerships are listed as owned by the third partner of the business, Steve Landers. Therefore, none of the group’s six dealerships were counted in ZH’s results.

Speaking of understatements, we earlier reported that by the strangest of coincidences, Steven Rattner, who runs President Obama’s auto task force, is married to Maureen White, was once a fundraising chair for the Democratic National Committee. As it turns out, she was also National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. Go figure…

Thomas Lamb has also been going over the Chrysler dealer data with a fine tooth comb. The aspect of the closings which piqued Thomas’ interest was minority-owned dealerships. It was widely reported that about a hundred minority dealers would be closed, but in fact only 38 of the 170 minority-owned MOPAR deaerships got the axe, among them a number of franchises owned by Hispanics, some of whom donated to or otherwise supported Republicans:

If the trend continues on the closures of African American dealerships versus Hispanic ones, then you are looking at a civil rights lawsuit.

Affirmative action for African American owned dealerships and not for Hispanic owned dealerships does not work out too well.

On Friday, Doug reported on the Left’s reaction to some of the facts uncovered earlier last week regarding Dealergate. Their defense of how Chrysler-Obama-Fiat-UAW Motors is handling its dealers has been weak, ineffective and based on poor methodology, which is to say no methodology at all. It seems to have amounted to a few Google searches, and:

“They somehow forgot to ask the key question: what was the ratio of GOP-to-Democrat donations for the dealerships that were closed by Obama and his minions?”

Doug checked that one out, too:

The ratio of donations for dealers that were shuttered was 42 to 1, GOP to Democrat.

Joey Smith, who found the first clue to the correlation between Clinton donors and Chrysler dealers remaining open, has also begun documenting the influence President Obama’s auto task force has had on Chrysler dealer closings:

“… the Task Force made Chrysler cut some of its dealerships in exchange for some more money from the government.

The final article includes a quote from GM CEO Fritz Henderson saying that GM has been under pressure (presumably from the Task Force) to make faster and deeper cuts.'”

With the General Motors bankruptcy announcement coming today, there will be even more work for the growing army of bloggers who are investigating what the in-the-tank-for-Obama media refuses to even casually look into. GM, of course, didn’t make the critical mistake made by Chrysler. The company has refused to release its lists of open and closed dealerships.

In true horror story fashion, we leave you with some really scary food for thought. With a hat tip to Eric Erickson, may I point out that the expert President Obama has entrusted with the task of overseeing the dismantling of GM for the White House is just 31 years old. He is not a car guy, having never set foot in an automobile factory before being given responsibility for GM. Nor is he a business school graduate. In fact, he’s a law school dropout named Brian Deese. And though he’s not an economist, he was the top economic policy staffer for — cue the soundtrack from the Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” ads — the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Just another one of those uncanny coincidences you find when you dig into the dirt from which sprang the federal government’s intrusion into the auto industry.

Update: Zero Hedge acknowledges what Doug and I have taken pains to point out:

“We are only counting majority owners in our donor matches. It’s entirely possible that other influential donors who are minority owners, or former owners or otherwise connected in ways we cannot see are not being counted.”

See related post at Libertarian Republican.

– JP