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Dec-11-2008 20:51printcomments

House Auto Bailout Supporters Received Average of 65% More from Auto Industry Interests

“Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill" - Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director

U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress
Coutesy: maxwell.syr.edu

(BERKELEY, Calif.) - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act last night.

MAPLight.org's research department revealed that over the past five years (January 2003 - October 2008), auto manufacturers, auto dealers and labor unions gave an average of $74,100 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the auto bailout, compared with an average of $45,015 to each Representative voting against the bailout--65% more money, on average, given to those who voted Yes.

The final vote: 237 Representatives voted Yes and 170 voted No, with 26 Not Voting and 1 voting “Present.”

MAPLight.org's analysis included contributions from auto manufacturers, auto dealers, auto-related industries and labor unions, groups that have expressed support for this bill's passage.

“Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill," said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director.

“Votes in Congress once again align with the river of money that flows through our broken political system.”

House Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, 205 voting Yes and 20 voting No (11 not voting). Democrats voting Yes received an average of $74,846 each, about 19% more than those voting No, who received an average of $63,140.

House Republicans were somewhat more divided on this bill, 32 voting Yes and 150 voting No (16 not voting).

Republicans voting Yes received an average of $69,323 each, 63% more than those voting No, who received an average of $42,598.

Votes on H.R. 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act:

Average amount Auto Manufacturers and Unions gave to U.S. House Members:

To view how each legislator voted and their campaign contributions visit: maplight.org/map/us/bill/78867/default/votes/votedetail-355387

Breakdown by Interest Group:

As stated above, legislators voting Yes received, on average, $74,100, which is 65% more than the amount given to legislators voting No, $45,015. Labor union contributions accounted for this difference, with unions giving an average of $48,193 to each lawmaker voting Yes, over seven times more than the $6,607 they gave to each lawmaker voting No.

Average of money that was given to each member:

Note: Contribution data includes both PAC and individual contributions.

Lobbying:

The big three auto firms spent $49,338,900 on lobbying over the past two years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


MAPLight.org's analysis used data from the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org) and included campaign funds given from January 2003 through October 2008 by these industries: Labor Unions, Auto Manufacturers, Auto Dealers, Manufacturing Trade Groups, and Truck/Automotive parts. Data includes both PAC and individual contributions. We used Congressional voting records from the U.S. House website, via GovTrack.us. Contribution data for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), elected in a special election in Nov. 2008, were not included.

MAPLight.org's research department reveals how contributions correlate with legislation so that citizens have key information needed to draw their own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy.Campaign contributions are only one factor affecting legislator behavior. The correlations we highlight between industry and union giving and legislative outcomes do not show that one caused the other, and we do not make this claim. We do make the claim, however, that campaign contributions bias our legislative system. Simply put, candidates who take positions contrary to industry interests are unlikely to receive industry funds and thus have fewer resources for their election campaigns than those whose votes favor industry interests.

About MAPLight.org: MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via a database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Data sources include: GovTrack.us; Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org); Federal Election Commission (FEC); and National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Support and opposition data is obtained through testimony at public hearings, proprietary news databases and public statements on the websites of trade associations and other groups. To learn more visit: MAPLight.org.




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Henry Ruark December 13, 2008 10:04 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "see with own eyes" for you on what desolation, despair and death of hopes follows on when an industry leader actually dies: (Conclusion-excerpt from NYT article at www.nytimes.com) When The Cars Go Away By Bill McGraw " The demise of Packard took place as the city’s industrial base was beginning to unravel. Other notable firms that folded or merged in that era included the Hudson Motor Car Company, Murray Body, Motor Products and Detroit Stove Works. By the end of the 1950s, unemployment had soared, white flight was under way and Detroit’s downward spiral had begun. Misery has rarely been mentioned as a reason to pass an auto industry bailout. But walk through the Packard plant on a December day and you will know that once a car company disappears, in southeast Michigan at least, nothing comes along to take its place." ------------------ McGraw is longtime reporter, columnist in Detroit. He knows realities involved far better than anyone removed from it.


Henry Ruark December 13, 2008 9:23 am (Pacific time)

To all: Longtime editorial habit forced close re-reading of this one, justifying original evaluation. Key segment found: “Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill," said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director. “Votes in Congress once again align with the river of money that flows through our broken political system.” ------------------ That's undistorted fact, long reported in S-N as content and Op Eds, mine and others. But this PR-agency report builds case only for opposition to action very clearly in commonweal interest now. It ignores indispensable reality of sure consequences, with THREE MILLION workers now vulnerble to consternation if industries allowed to die. Fault, error or other causes for current consternation in this industry is another-time remediation, to which we can turn, given the time to do so. Commonweal interest clearly requires action by government as last-resort, a role denied by neocon et al influences but indispensable in dire, even industry-deathly, situation into which we've allowed ourselves to be seduced. Perhaps this added-note may clarify clear realities for some readers; see further evaluation from your own choice of trusted national sources.


PS December 13, 2008 7:47 am (Pacific time)

HR the below quote is where the "meat is." It is an opinion and an observation that is what it is. Can you address it as being incorrect? "Regarding social security, post office, public education, what do they have to do with capitalism? But since you [HR] mentioned the post office, who do you think is rated as superior in getting their packages on time...UPS, Fed Express, etc.,etc. , or the USPS? How about public education v.s. private schools? Private healthcare or goverment healthcare (talk to a veteran for more insight on govt. care). Free market has always out performed governments. Of course those who have developed entitlement dependencies prefer socialistic approaches to their needs. I firmly believe in helping those who need it, but when they are able-bodied and mentally/emotionally cleared for work, then they need to make their own way. Further bailouts do not help anyone except for those who want to see our economy natonalized. They still haven't got the memo that socialist governments fail and/or they have never cracked open a history book, ergo, a symptom of public academic inculcation." HR I have opened many history books in my time, but my living experience provides me the practical insight that the above is what it is. I concur as do all of those elected to congress (except a few misguided souls) that socialism does not work. If it did, then how come we don't have those running for office go on a socialistic platform and win the majority? Maybe they understand historical precedents?


Henry Ruark December 12, 2008 7:34 pm (Pacific time)

Enough: Enough, already ! Your further personal declaration of reality as you see it only, with no proof whatsoever, and while hiding behind tree, is far from compatible with "any learned person". For me, it fits much more neatly into arrogance and denial of what's really well known among most "learned persons", especially those living every day with known background and preparation for professional requirements. And presenting "see with own eyes" testable, checkable sources for points when required, with proper ID for any request. If NO ID, then doubt follows as day does night, as it should for any "learned person". Every daily newspaper has had same problems as NYT, yet the paper of international record today is still - The NY Times. That's incontrovertible fact, not open to question by masked man at door with billofgoods to sell. Re cut-off of NYT contracts, how do you know ?If you have real source, why not cite it with numbers, dated for check and evaluation. What you state is not what's reported in the professional journals I see. Which ones do you surveil ?? Your use otherwise proves up very neatly, again, neocon contempt for readership common sense here. Re Adam Smith, that's your unsupported allegation. Why not cite page and title of source for allegation, alligator ? (NOT mis-spelled!) My ref. to Smith currently names my ref. copy summarizing him. What's yours ? Again empty words do nothing but eat space, time, attention, here. Same applies for MLK, too;did you know him, have source for quote, any other ref. except yr b/b ?? From mine own experience I do believe he would look you right in the eye and say: ("Censored !") For any credibilities, sir, earn 'em by proper citation beyond what you arrogantly perpetrate on readership here; personal feeling does not qualify as "informed opinion", only b/b reflection, possibly of internal discomforts. Re agencies and services named if you do not see connection that simply proves up your own missing-pieces sydrome, common with neocon philosophy. You wrote: "Free markets have always outperformed governments." Please cite yr ref. or is this too based on b/b-massage ? OR perhaps from 30yr.distortions now obvious for neocon noise machine ? You wrote: ...never cracked open a history book." But I note you did NOT cite anything historically, so why not crack open a book or two yourself ? IF you need refs. several very strong ones here in last day, or with your ID to Editor, will be glad to provide full list of helpful sources for your remedial education. OR do you now have some at whatever level ? If so, cite with name of institution and year, and we will check out, as can be done with ours on file at STAFF section. We welcome comment any time from responsible "learned persons" but that implies good faith action and commonsense sensibilities for truthful report. When that's so obviously perverted for simple political pander purposes, we have responsibility to our readership to illuminate and answer such "stuff". Your participation richly and honestly appreciated, sir.


Enough December 12, 2008 12:18 pm (Pacific time)

As far as the New York Times is concerned, they are constantly losing readership/advertising on a daily level (review slide of their shares in stock exchange for last ten years) and for most learned people they lost credibility even before the Jayson Blair fiasco. Many are not renewing their wire service contract with them when their contracts expire. As far as MLK Jr. is concerned, a republican conservative (public record) he would not agree with free handouts, nor would Adam Smith. Regarding social security, post office, public education, what do they have to do with capitalism. But since you mentioned the post office, who do you think is rated as superior in getting their packages on time...UPS, Fed Express, etc.,etc. , or the USPS? How about public education v.s. private schools? Private healthcare or goverment healthcare (talk to a veteran for more insight on govt. care). Free market has always out performed governments. Of course those who have developed entitlement dependencies prefer socialistic approaches to their needs. I firmly believe in helping those who need it, but when they are able-bodied and mentally/emotionally cleared for work, then they need to make their own way. Further bailouts do not help anyone except for those who want to see our economy natonalized. They still haven't got the memo that socialist governments fail and/or they have never cracked open a history book, ergo, a symptom of public academic inculcation.


Henry Ruark December 12, 2008 11:09 am (Pacific time)

E.A: You wrote: "The New York Time's opinion is pro-union, has been for a while now, so not a good source for the responsible taxpayer to go by." That commits unpardonable sin of denying any authoritative statement of fact except the one YOU choose to set up. It repeats that sin by showing NYT itself changed and has now stood sturdily on same view for some time --in your own words ! That's obvious proof of your own irresponsible judgment. IF major daily newspaper noted as world leader has that point of view, do you really contend that yours overrides theirs ? They lay out facts in depth in their reports and Edits and Op Eds. What do YOU offer, except single-name solely-personal b.b feeling entirely without any detail or documentation ?


Henry Ruark December 12, 2008 11:01 am (Pacific time)

To all: One of strong new sources on Internet is www.OpEdNews.com, with editor unafraid to lay it all out. Here's his lead today: Do Flat Out Globalist GOP Traitors INTEND to Kill the USA's Auto Industry? by Rob Kall (Read "with own eyes" to see how he documents that title.) His main point is GOPsters who voted down auto-industry funds are themselves captured by their own state-constituent interests. Their sworn duty is to the commonweal interests of the entire nation, now threatened by consequences GOP cabal has brought on itself. Re union/wage levels, numbers cited are distorted purposely by opponents, and true ones reached by social compact well understood for decades by both unions and corporations -that is untouchable history. Also is root of middle-class growth in this nation, too. Care to deny that ? If so, cite links and prove with documentation, clearly missing here-and-now. Re success of "socialism",that depends whether or not you now survive on Social Security,use the Post Office, count on Medicade, send kids to common school OR pay charter-profits, and much else. Other nations unafraid to learn from past experience are out-doing U.S. on healthcare, education and much else. That, too, is historical fact. Where is your proof of categorical statements dead in water for years ??? Re MLK quote, his political status surely strengthens what he stated, even without fact of his assassination for the dangers his insights offer to those who angrily dissent even yet. There's a name for that, too. Re"let the market sort it out" that is precisely what is NOW so wrong, as rational study of decades of trial-run since Reagan have now irretrievably proven by "unintended consequences" --precisely as Adam Smith Himself predicted. Have you-all read Adam Smith ? He it was who set up solid truths well understood now to be distorted/perverted for political purposes claiming market actions long ago exposed as faulty, failing and futile given corporate control now comparatively stronger than government itself. To state otherwise is simply to flourish wildly the classic MIS-information of GOP noise machine for past 30 years.


Enough Already December 12, 2008 10:30 am (Pacific time)

To make a point about MLK Jr, who is so often quoted, he was a republican and a conservative. Let all of America find out how much the UAW union workers make in their hourly benefit package, even when they are layed off, and the existing majority of them who do not want a bailout will grow even more in my opinion. Socialism does not work. The New York Time's opinion is pro-union, has been for a while now, so not a good source for the responsible taxpayer to go by.


Enough Already December 12, 2008 10:21 am (Pacific time)

I just listened to the UAW president who said their members were on parity with the other auto manufacturers in this country, that by the way are having decent sales in comparison to the Detroit people. Wrong! The average UAW worker has a wage and benefit package worth approx. $75 an hour and the others are around $42 an hour. Why should the taxpayers want to bail them out with our money? This is a union bailout and am glad to hear that the bill in the senate failed. What is the average taxpayers hourly benefit out in America? I don't know, does anyone out there know? Some businesses wither and die on the vine, and others do well because they make good business decisions. Time to reorganize and become responsible, otherwise let the market sort it out.


Henry Ruark December 12, 2008 9:58 am (Pacific time)

To all: One famous American said it in these words: "It is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be? "- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


Henry Ruark December 12, 2008 8:48 am (Pacific time)

To all: Again we see neocon distortion and perversion, built here on personal interpretation vs real history. Despite H's colorful rhetoric reality demands rescue, with remediation for rest of neocon created mess awaiting further action by those who understand what's really happening to all of us. Here's NYTimes "see with own eyes", sure to bring angry denunciation from those whose arrogance prevents honest thinking approach protecting those most-hurt NOW, until we can fix THAT, TOO !!: www.nytimes.com Editorial What’s Plan B? Senate Republicans determined to block the $14 billion rescue package for Chrysler and General Motors have trotted out predictable rhetoric about the dangers of Big Government. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, warned on Thursday that “a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take everything we have.” As the American economy sinks into the deepest recession in a generation — caused in large part by this sort of anti-government and anti-regulatory dogma — it would be folly to allow the ideologues to undermine efforts to pull the country out. Let’s be clear. The rescue plan passed by the House this week won’t fix the ailing automakers that are hemorrhaging cash as sales plummet. But allowing one or more of these companies to collapse into bankruptcy proceedings could potentially cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and even greater economic havoc. ----------- Judge with own mind on whether Hump "trotted out predictable rhetoric about the dangers of Big Government." SO Hump now face-to-face with NYT; should prove interesting! since we know NYT but H.-mask remains pasted on face --must be reason-why...NYT still world-recognized as "newspaper of record". WHAT do we know of H and his motives ???


Harumph December 11, 2008 10:45 pm (Pacific time)

Amazing. The script for 30 years has been... Hit big business to help out the middle class. Now we're told we have to bail out big business to help the middle class. That's what Boxer just said from the floor of the Senate. Not a single Senator recanted the recent fuel economy and emissions bill which is estimated to cost the automakers 85 billion. So, we pass laws to bankrupt our auto industry. We write laws to make unions unaccountable to anyone. Then we bail out the failing businesses just bankrupted by congress. All on the taxpayer's back. And the politicians continue to profess they "care about the taxpayer". No, they care about nothing except making headlines and getting elected in order to indulge in the intoxicant of power and spending trillions of dollars without restraint.

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