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Crunching the numbers: Dealergate & cronyism continued

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 31, 2009 11:46 AM


Photoshop credit: George at Elegant Memories

The statistical gurus at financial blog Zero Hedge have taken a hard, long look at the question of Dealergate and cronyism. They’ve made their preliminary findings available here. Using regression analysis, they tackled the relationship between dealership survival and Clinton donor status – and found a significant correlation:

This puzzled us. Why would there be a significant and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors? Granted, that P-Value (0.125) isn’t enough to reject the null hypothesis at 95% confidence intervals (our null hypothesis being that the effect is due to random chance), but a 12.5% chance of a Type I error in rejecting a null hypothesis (false rejection of a true hypothesis) is at least eyebrow raising. Most statistians would not call this a “find” as 95% confidence intervals are the gold standard for this sort of work. Nevertheless, it seems clear that something is going on here. Specifically, the somewhat low probability that the Clinton data showing higher survivability of Clinton donors could result just from pure chance. But why not better significance with any of the other variables? Why this stand out?

Then we got to thinking. Steven Rattner, the Car Czar, is married to Maureen White, one-time national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What does Maureen do now? From her website:

Maureen White is currently Chairman of the Board of Overseers of The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a member of the North American Advisory Board for the London School of Economics, and a National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. (emphasis ours)

That website looks dated, but you get the idea.

Again, we want to point out that our findings are preliminary and subject to change. But whatever the result, the Administration has made themselves very vulnerable by taking charge of the dealership closing decisions.

Doug Ross weighs in and reiterates a point I made last week: “It is incumbent that “Car Czar” Rattner and the Obama administration immediately disclose — with their vaunted ifull transparency’ — the methods used to select dealerships for closure.”

Thomas Lamb pursues the cronyism of color angle.

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