Sunday, May 31, 2009

RED ALERT: Dealergate -- Quantitative Analysis Indicates Clinton Donors Rewarded By Selective Closings

The blogosphere's preeminent quant gurus over at the brilliant Zero Hedge crunched the Chrysler dealership data along with the dealers' political contributions (caution: language warning). For those unfamiliar with quantitative analysis, it revolves around the pure numerical evaluation of the relationships between different types of data.

Preliminary Zero Hedge Findings: Clinton Contributors Rewarded

Using raw donor data from (865 megabytes of 2008 individual contribution records) and the list of Chrysler dealerships (both closed and open lists), their preliminary conclusions align with the anecdotal evidence. After a major data cleansing effort, they matched the information against dealer status (safe or nuked); the party affiliation of the contribution recipient; the presidential candidate to whom the dealer contributed (if applicable); the amount of the contribution; and the ZIP code of the dealership.

Conclusion: "a significant and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors": seems clear that something is going on here. Specifically, the somewhat low probability that the Clinton data showing higher survivability of Clinton donors could result just from pure chance.

But why not better significance with any of the other variables? Why [would] this stand out?

Why indeed.

The Car Czar's Wife: National Finance Chair for Hillary Clinton

Those closely following the Dealergate story might recall this tidbit posted by Glenn Reynolds on May 28th:

A reader notes something about "car czar" Steven Rattner: “Rattner is married to Maureen White, the former National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party.” The comment: “So one of the guys advising SecTreas on this thing is married to someone who used to be one of the people in charge of fundraising for the Democratic Party. This explains so much it’s scary." Well, it bears a close look.

Zero Hedge:

Then we got to thinking. Steven Rattner, the Car Czar, is married to Maureen White, one-time national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What does Maureen do now? From her website: "Maureen White is currently Chairman of the Board of Overseers of The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a member of the North American Advisory Board for the London School of Economics, and a National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. (emphasis ours).

Further analysis is underway, including an in-depth geographic analysis of nuked dealers who are GOP donors. The concentration of these in Detroit is "interesting to say the least".

Affirmative action for me, but not for thee

Thomas Lamb was one of the first bloggers to pick up on this story. He has begun reviewing closings and minority-owned dealerships.

Originally, it was thought that 140 minority owned Chrysler dealers out of the 170 minority owned Chrysler dealers were going to be closed.

But the facts on the closing of the Chrysler dealerships are; out of some 170 minority owned Chrysler dealers, only about 32-38 minority owned Chrysler dealers were closed.

The original reason for the high number was; the minority dealers were smaller in size and offered only one brand. So given that thought process, why did so many stay open? My guess is Obama, Maxine Waters and politics.

...because most minority owned dealerships were single brand, Chrysler had plans to close more than 100 minority owned dealerships, but Chrysler backed off on that.

The reason why? That is the $65,000 question

...[of 19 Hispanic-owned dealerships, 8 were closed or 42%, so if] the trend continues on the closures of African American dealerships versus Hispanic ones, then you are looking at a civil rights lawsuit.

Affirmative action for African American owned dealerships and not for Hispanic owned dealerships does not work out too well.

MIA: Full Transparency

It is incumbent that "Car Czar" Rattner and the Obama administration immediately disclose -- with their vaunted "full transparency" -- the methods used to select dealerships for closure.

Linked by: Michelle Malkin, The Washington Examiner and FiveThirtyEight. Thanks!

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