A Washington Examiner piece today suggests that in the recent round of Chrysler automotive dealer closings dictated by the Obama administration, dealers who had Republican ties or were GOP donors were unfairly targeted.
Is it true? I have no idea! But that doesn’t stop me from passing it along, because I love a burgeoning maybe-scandal and want to get in on the ground floor. Oh, and because the narrative does indeed include one of our cherished Arkansas ties, in the form of Chrysler dealerships owned by former Clinton chief of staff Mack McLarty:
Also fueling the controversy is the fact the RLJ-McLarty-Landers chain of Arkansas and Missouri dealerships aren’t being closed, but many of their local competitors are being eliminated. Go here for a detailed look at this situation. McLarty is the former Clinton senior aide. The “J” is Robert Johnson, founder of the Black Entertainment Television, a heavy Democratic contributor.
Also targeted for closings were dealerships owned by a Republican congressman from Florida. But all the arguments for this appear to be rather heavily anecdotal, so unless you have time to work up a spreadsheet on all the closings nationwide and run a statistical analysis against FEC contribution records or something, we’ll just put this one in the “not yet proven” file.
UPDATE: Interesting analysis from lefty poll jockey Nate Silver, who suggests that if Republican donors are more heavily represented among the closings, it’s because auto dealers in general tend to be more Republican, based on the numbers.
Arkansas blogger Nick Gripes has additional questions.