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Corruption Chronicles

Bailout Advocates Got Big Bucks From Automakers

The auto industry spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying Congress this year and, not surprisingly, a big chunk of the money went to the Michigan legislators who are pushing hardest for a government bailout of the ailing companies.  

A major news agency is reporting this week that Michigan Senator Carl Levin received $438,304 from the auto industry and his counterparts in the House, representatives Joe Knollenberg and John Dingell each got nearly a million dollars from auto manufacturers. 

Dingell, a Democrat who has represented Detroit in the House since 1955, has the biggest stake in the industry and stands to lose a fortune if it goes under. He and his wife, a senior General Motors executive, have major holdings—worth up to $5 million—in GM stock options and at least $350,000 in stock. 

Earlier this week the veteran lawmaker published a press release praising the automakers’ planned operations restructure as worthy of a $25 billion government loan. He further pointed out that other nations in Asia and Europe are providing assistance to their own struggling automakers because they understand the importance of a strong manufacturing industry.

Not surprisingly, Dingell’s press release omits his tremendous financial interest in the industry or that his family’s precious fortune is at stake if Detroit’s troubled big three flop. 


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