Cash for Clunkers Haunts Car Dealers Turned Candidates

Running for office has always had some overwrought theatrics, and a small group of car dealers running for U.S. Congress in the 2010 midterm elections has stumbled upon a political landmine that’s created opportunities for grandstanding and double talk.

Four car dealers now running for public office as Republicans are coming under attack by opponents (both Republican primary challengers and Democrats) for opposing “taxpayer bailouts” while benefiting from last year’s $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program.

For instance, Jim Renacci, running in Ohio, sold 39 cars under the CARS program, while another Ohio candidate, Tom Ganley, owns a number of dealerships that sold 876 cars through Cash for Clunkers.

After being hammered by opponents, both candidates have gone with the “I-had-no-choice” defense. Spokesmen for both Ganley and Renacci claim their candidates opposed the Clunkers program and would have voted against it. Pennsylvania candidate Mike Kelly, who previously said that Cash for Clunkers benefited his dealership, now says that it was little more than a “short-term boost.”

Running in Virginia, car dealer and candidate Scott Rigell has been hammered by fellow Republican Ben Loyola for the 138 cars Rigell sold under the Clunkers program. And in an all-too-easy bit of irony, what does Loyola do for a living? He works as a Department of Defense contractor.

Dealers-Turned-Candidates Run into Trouble (USA Today)



Why don't we stick to actual auto news instead of some lame excuse for "political" car news. Don't get on here and start talking about "the most expensive stimulus program: Loyola works as a Department of Defense contractor." Really? Get back to car news or get a new job. This is still right?

Jordan Arnold

I guess it was a choice between running this trash article and one about how AZ citizens are racist. Real Americans see through garbage like this and have known for quite some time that today's 'journalists' are worse than used car salesmen.

PS The Defense Dept budget is not a stimulus but I know that'll be hard for the Anti-American Libs to accept.

Cash for Clunkers was a huge story last year which our readers read a lot about and were appreciative of our coverage. We wrote dozens of posts about it.

This fallout seems like a side effect no one would have thought of at the time. Hence the followup.


Those dang conservatives again. Cover anything against their candidates and it is all junk news. Cover something against a liberal (or democrat) and it is obvious they are in bed with the evil one, Obama.



I agree, the articles you wrote about Cash for Clunkers were useful when the PROGRAM WAS ACTIVE. It's long gone now. To write this crap, and thats really what it is, on a blog whose title says "The blog for car buyers" doesn't seem very accurate. How does this help car buyers? Tell them to boycott those dealerships? I mean really come on!


Any Con or Dem who supported cash for clunkers should be thrown out of office. If you're going to do political articles I'd like to see one explaining why Democrats hate America so much.


Ah yes the ole hate America. Where were these arguments a few years ago?


I don't know how the Democrats can be against the USA and for Mexico but it's painfully obvious. If the governor of AZ ran for President she'd get my vote. We finally see a politician that has a backbone to enforce the law.


...and the wingnuts come out of the woodwork.

This is a car-related post, and therefore belongs here. Tell you what DOESN'T belong here: comments about how "libs" "hate america," and garbage about "enforcing the law" in Arizona.



be careful. These law enforcers want to create a police state. One day it will be like in many European countries. You will be stopped by police on the street because you have big nose or something else.

One friend of mine said one time: "All [US] politicians are crooks. Only Democrats a little bit less crooks then republicans." Now I would say, yes. Besides, they are more like Marxists now.
Really, you only have to go 100 years back to see where we are going now. There will be blood on the streets before many of you die.

Gary B

My Aunt has lived in Phoenix for the past twenty-years and loves it. Unfortunately for her car insurance has risen a lot because 3x in the past year she's been hit by individuals who were 'undocumented' and without car insurance. Oddly enough in all three instances the person didn't flee.


I'm a Blue Dog Democrat but plan on voting Repub in the near future as the thought of my party supporting sanctuary cities makes me ill.


I agree with Paul.

Len Fasson

I remember the President saying he would bring transparency to Washington and then he refused to release government records on Cash For Clunkers. When he was called on the carpet he threw Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood under the bus blaming it on him.
Only a Putz would believe that crushing a perfectly good automobile is good for the environment. Edmunds did a great job of proving how C4C was a colossal failure just wasting tax payer dollars.


Forbes proved the C4C Program just ended-up pulling forward sales from Q1 2010. A Big Thumbs-up to the female Gov in Arizona. You're never wrong when you are doing the right thing (Just like what the Prez did with H-care).


So many trolls, so many grades to hand out.
All were pretty weak though, too obvious, over the top. As a group, you get a C.


*YAWN* Did you say something Danielle?

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