The Motor City Lobbying Fight

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.

Highlights

Click here to sign up for a free trial of First Street – the definitive political intelligence plaform
  • 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

Year Ford General Motors Chrysler
2008 $7,695,000  $13,101,000 $5,847,782
2009 $7,000,000  $8,400,000 $3,441,523
2010 $5,600,000  $9,570,000 $2,543,304
2011 $6,657,000  $10,840,000 $4,270,553
Total $26,952,000  $41,911,000 $16,103,162

Outside Lobbying Firms Hired

  FORD GM CHRYSLER
Year Number of Firms Amount Number of Firms Amount Number of Firms Amount
2011 7 $1,210,000 20 $3,712,500 3 $680,000
2010 8 $1,150,000 15 $2,712,500 3 $590,000
2009 11 $1,190,000 16 $1,035,000 3 $700,000
2008 11 $1,660,000 23 $3,156,000 4 $630,000
Total 13 $5,210,000 37 $10,616,000 7 $2,600,000

Lobbyists Working on Behalf of The Big Three

  FORD GM CHRYSLER
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
2011 41 34 83% 90 60 67% 33 23 70%
2010 59 48 81% 75 50 67% 15 8 53%
2009 60 48 80% 68 37 54% 22 10 45%
2008 64 50 78% 79 49 62% 22 9 41%
Total 78 62 79% 160 103 64% 49 29 59%

Political Action Committee Contributions

  • Chrysler terminated their political action committee in 2009.
Election Cycle Ford Contribution Amounts GM Contribution Amounts Chrysler Contribution Amounts
2011-2012 $353,500 $131,500 $0
2009-2010 $685,250 $336,000 $4,500
2007-2008 $380,930 $470,358 $487,100
Total $1,419,680 $937,858 $491,600

Government Institutions Lobbied

Year Ford Institutions Lobbied GM Institutions Lobbied Chrysler Institutions Lobbied
2011 17 28 18
2010 14 25 7
2009 12 19 6
2008 10 26 16
Total 17 40 20

Legislation Lobbied

Year Ford
Legislation Lobbied
GM
Legislation Lobbied
Chrysler
Legislation Lobbied
2011 41 47 54
2010 63 64 34
2009 43 51 29
2008 64 93 98
Total 178 238 198

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: