Auto Company Lobbying

Should General Motors and Chrysler face a lobbying ban?  That’s what this Post story examines.

GM and Chrysler have reduced their lobbying expenditures this year. GM terminated contracts with all 15 private lobbying firms it has been using while retaining its in-house lobbyists. Ford Motor Co., which has not accepted federal bailout funds, has slightly trimmed its lobbying budget this year.

“We believe we have an obligation to remain engaged at the federal and state levels and to have our voice heard in the policymaking process,” GM said in a statement, citing health care, environment and other issues.

Chrysler issued a similar statement, saying, “There continues to be significant demand for education and information regarding Chrysler from legislators and government officials.”

The two automakers got support for their continued lobbying from an unlikely source: Longtime antagonist Joan Claybrook, the recently retired head of the consumer group Public Citizen.

“I do believe in the First Amendment and speaking your mind,” she said. “If they don’t have lobbyists expressing their point of view, who does it?”

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