Dealergate 9: Questioning the 'auto task force tyrants'

As we reported yesterday, even some Democrats are beginning to question President Obama and auto his task force. They can’t understand why profitable, top-performing Chrysler dealers are being forced to close their doors. We’ve been asking this and other questions about the Dealergate scandal for weeks, and we’re encouraged to see some House Democrats finally getting curious about how the decisions were made regarding which dealerships would stay and which would go.

Any number of factors could have contributed to open these Democrat’s eyes. For one, this dealer closing business doesn’t pass the smell test, no matter on which side of the aisle a Congressman may be seated. Perhaps the three listened to their Republican colleague Ted Poe, who represents the Second District of Texas. In a recent speech from the floor of the House, Rep. Poe delivered remarks which contained enough red meat to open more than a few pairs of eyes.

Mr. Poe told the story of Rogers Dodge, an Alvin, Texas dealership in his district which was on the closing list despite the fact that the franchise managed to increase its sales by 50% in the first four months of the year, while district sales are down by the same amount. This led Rep. Poe to ask:

“What is the criteria for closing down these dealerships? The auto task force gang picks winners and losers, but they refuse to tell America how those decisions are made. Well, neither they nor the administration are talking. The blissful silence makes us wonder what is going on.”

The Congressman had some harsh words for President Obama’s auto task force, a panel which answers directly to the White House, but operates free from the constraints of transparency or congressional oversight:

“Chrysler, an American institution, is no longer being run as a private sector company. It’s been taken over by the auto task force tyrants, appointed personally by the administration. These individuals tell Chrysler what to do, and they have to do it because Chrysler took all that bailout money before it went into bankruptcy. Now the auto task force gang gets to run the company. And by the way, Mr. Speaker, we still don’t know where that wasted bailout money went.”

Rep. Poe gave a shout out to the Dealergate bloggers and the handful of reporters and editors who shined a light on the scandal:

There are reporters and bloggers around the country who have been digging through lists of donations reported on the Federal Election Commission website. They have been comparing donor names on the lists with the names of the owners of Chrysler dealerships that have been forced to close…

Did this group of auto task force individuals discriminate against Republican dealerships in Chicago-style paybacks? We don’t know… Campaign contributions seem to be the common thread in all of these ordered closures. That’s some coincidence.

The Texas congressman told his colleagues that now it’s not just some bloggers and a few reporters and congressmen who have questions about Dealergate:

The American people are starting to ask a few questions of their own. Are these auto task force tyrants picking winners and losers based on campaign contributions? Does the administration have a Nixon-style enemies list? All these questions because the auto task force guys aren’t talking, and aren’t telling us why they closed down certain dealerships and why they let others remain open.

What made Dealergate inevitable, regardless of what will be proven and what will remain open to question, is the very process of allowing the federal government to inject itself into the affairs of the private sector to manage businesses, something completely foreign to the U.S. Constitution and the very principles upon which the founders created their new republic. Everyone seems to recognize this except for “constitutional scholar” Barack Obama and the merry band of thieves that is his administration. Rep. Poe concluded:

“We are now living in a time when the government controls both Chrysler and GM, which we should now call Government Motors. And the government alone, not the free market, decides who wins and who loses, who stays in business and who must be forcibly closed down. Meanwhile 100,000-plus Chrysler workers at auto dealerships who did nothing wrong will be out of work on June the 9th, thanks to government control. So much for the promise of new jobs. And that’s just the way it is.”

– JP

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