On Superbowl Sunday, Clint Eastwood stated “Motor City is fighting again” in the now infamous Chrysler commercial. The ad, focused on the resurgence of the Detroit auto industry, is a hot topic in political commentary circles. It riled political figures on the right like Karl Rove, while drawing applause from figures on the left like David Axelrod. Its been an extremely turbulent few years for the auto industry, specifically the Big Three of Ford, GM and Chrysler. In 2008, two of the Big Three, GM and Chrysler, went through bankruptcy and received government loans, commonly referred to as the auto-bailouts. With the industry now getting back on its feet, the First Street Research Group decided to take a look at the trends in the lobbying data for the Big Three over the past few years.
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- The Big Three spent a total of $84.9 million on their lobbying activity from 2008-2011.
- 46 lobbying firms were paid $18.6 million to represent 1 or more of the big three from 2008-2011 with 10 firms being hired by both GM and Ford at one point.
- Government Experience was a key trait for Big Three lobbyists as an average of 67% of the lobbyists for the big three came from the federal government. Ford lead the way hiring lobbyists at the blistering rate of 83% with federal government experience.
- PAC contributions were relied on much less than traditional lobbying, yet the Big Three still managed to give $2.8 million in political contributions through their corporate PAC’s from 2007-2011.
- The Big Three lobbied just over 200 bills and 25 government institutions between 2008-2011, on average.
Total Amount Spent Lobbying
Outside Lobbying Firms Hired
|Year||Number of Firms||Amount||Number of Firms||Amount||Number of Firms||Amount|
Lobbyists Working on Behalf of The Big Three
|Year||Total Lobbyists||Total Revolving Door Lobbyists||Percent Revolving Door||Total Lobbyists||Total Revolving Door Lobbyists||Percent Revolving Door||Total Lobbyists||Total Revolving Door Lobbyists||Percent Revolving Door|
Political Action Committee Contributions
- Chrysler terminated their political action committee in 2009.
|Election Cycle||Ford Contribution Amounts||GM Contribution Amounts||Chrysler Contribution Amounts|
Government Institutions Lobbied
|Year||Ford Institutions Lobbied||GM Institutions Lobbied||Chrysler Institutions Lobbied|