Spencer for Hire
From 1995 to 2000, the auto industry gave more than twice as much in campaign contributions to senators who voted against possible new fuel efficiency standards as it gave to senators who voted for them, according to a new report by the group Public Campaign. Since 1997, auto manufacturers, dealers, and unions have donated nearly $15 million to federal campaigns, 64 percent of it to Republicans. The biggest beneficiary of auto industry largesse was Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), lead sponsor of a bill that would permanently freeze fuel-efficiency standards until Congress voted to change them; he received $199,450 over the five-year period. “Campaign contributions stall improvements in fuel efficiency that are thus contributing to the mushrooming problem of global warming,” said Micah Sifrey of Public Campaign.