Meet the GOP's Auto Bailout Busters

A union-busting, foreign-car loving crew is holding up Detroit's rescue
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2008 2:15 PM CST
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell talks with supporters at a campaign stop. McConnell signaled the bailout's demise by announcing he wouldn't support the House version of the bill.    (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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(Newser) – With Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and other foreign factories dotting the I-65 corridor stretching from Kentucky to Alabama, southern Republican senators relished this week's chance to take a swing at Detroit and the UAW simultaneously. The "bailout fell victim to a nasty confluence of home-state economic interests and anti-union sentiment," write Alex Koppelman and Mike Madden in Salon. Here are some of the big players:

  • Bob Corker, Tenn: He's got two Nissan plants, along with the company's US headquarters. Volkswagen is coming, with at least 2,000 jobs.
  • Mitch McConnell, Ky: A weaker UAW makes organizing labor at his state’s Toyota plant tougher. (Kentucky is one of the few states without a right-to-work law.)
  • Richard Shelby, Ala: He's got Mercedes, Hyundai, and Honda plants, making his opposition to Detroit easy.
  • Jim DeMint, SC: He's an outspoken union critic, and he's also got a BMW plant.
  • Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isaakson, Ga: A Kia factory is opening soon.
For the rest, click on the Salon link below: