Closing Chrysler's Dealers: Cui Bono?

By Megan McArdle
This certainly doesn't look good: "The basic issue raised here is this: How do we account for the fact millions of dollars were contributed to GOP candidates by Chrysler who are being closed by the government, but only one has been found so far that is being closed that contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?"

My operating assumption is that this story is a red herring.  Democratic and Republican dealers are unlikely to be found in the same place, and the rural counties that tend to be red are probably less profitable.  I would be less surprised to find out that the administration rescued specific donors from the hit list than to find that they deliberately closed Republican dealerships.

Still the administration should answer this; it gives the appearance of Chicago-style corruption that is going to further taint a Chrysler takeover which has already left a number of people in the business and finance community wondering how firm the rule of business law is these days.

Update:  Nate Silver points out that most auto dealers are Republicans.  That doesn't quite explain why so far only one Obama donor has been closed down, but it makes it difficult to definitely conclude bad faith.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/05/closing-chryslers-dealers-cui-bono/18407/