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Be careful with Chrysler closure “hit list” claims

By Michelle Malkin  •  May 26, 2009 03:11 PM

Photoshop credit: George at Elegant Memories

There have been several interesting and informative blog posts published recently on the Chrysler dealership closure “hit list.”

Posts by Joey Smith, Doug Ross, and on Free Republic shed light on the campaign contributions of the targeted dealers — who happen to lean Republican.

Is Obama capable of such Chicagoland thug tactics? Of course he is, and I’ve pointed out many cases of it over the past two years.

But I would caution against getting carried away with “Nixon enemies list” rhetoric until a thorough vetting of the dealers on the list is done — which may take a while, but can definitely be expedited through the same kind of crowd-sourcing that has already taken place.

Fact is: Some of the GOP dealers on the list don’t deserve a whole hell of a lot of sympathy. Or my tax dollars.

Here are two examples from my own cursory review of the Republican donors listed by other bloggers:

Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan is on the list. What no one has mentioned, though, is that he has a record of financial shadiness and his dealerships have been embroiled in fraud lawsuits.

Then there’s Illinois/Missouri car dealer James Auffenberg, Jr., who was recently acquitted by a Virgin Islands jury in a massive tax and wire fraud case — but still may face civil action to collect millions in alleged unpaid taxes.

It’s unpopular to say, but there are probably many dealerships on the list that deserve to be closed down.

One more point about the political correlation: It may just be that more Republican-leaning businessmen than Democrat-leaning ones gravitate toward the car dealership business to begin with, which could explain the apparent disproportionate partisan impact.

In any case, it’s too early to start painting them all as victims of a politically motivated witch hunt.

Keep digging.

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Categories: Chrysler