CRP Sheds Light on Auto Industry’s Influence

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In light of President Obama’s announcement yesterday of further government control over the auto giants General Motors and Chrysler, our colleagues at the Center for Responsive Politics have pulled together an extremely helpful list of all their resources they’ve built over the years, making it possible to follow the powerful political influence automakers have amassed. “The connection between the automotive industry, the administration and Congress is more than just a shared interest in putting the economy on the track to recovery,” CRP writes. “Automakers and dealers have spent money on campaign contributions and lobbying to make sure they get the tune-up they need to survive.”

Here are a few resources on OpenSecrets.org, CRP’s site, that can help you follow the political influence of the industry:

* Overviews of federal campaign contributions and lobbying by the automotive industry. * Auto manufacturers (contributions, lobbying). * Here you can find how much congressional lawmakers have received from the automotive side  and the automakers. CRP suggests we play around with the dropdowns and slider menu to change the timeframe or see totals to specific members of the House and Senate. * They have a full list of contributions and lobbying over time, which shows who the “heavy hitters” are. And here are links to General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. * Here are links to the Big Three’s total lobbying expenditures: Chrysler, GM and Ford. * CRP also tracks political giving of car dealers. Here are links to the industry’s campaign contributions (foreign and domestic) and lobbying expenditures (Japanese and domestic). * And CRP has compiled a list of lawmakers supported the original proposal to use taxpayer funds to bail out the car companies and how much those legislators received from the industry. Here’s the list for the House vote and a list for the Senate vote.

This list of reports and breakdowns makes crystal clear how vital CRP’s work is. They are THE source for this invaluable information. Where would we be without them?

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