Tag Archives: Congressman John Campbell

Auto Sales Up: Dealers Should Thank the U.S. Government (But They Won’t)

The New York Times reported this week that “October was the best month for new-vehicle sales in more than two years, outside of the brief period in 2009 helped by government rebates.”

Sales for the auto industry were up 13.4 percent over all from a year ago.  Sales for General Motors rose 4.2 percent, sales for Ford Motor Company were up 19.3 percent, and sales for Chrysler jumped 37 percent.

General Motors’ vice president for sales, Don Johnson, was confident that the American Auto industry has recovered from the economic crisis that left them on the brink of total collapse less than two years ago; “Signs are there that the recovery continues and that it will be sustained,” said Johnson. “We don’t see a big risk at all of a double dip.”

It looks like federal intervention saved the U.S. Auto industry.  You would think that American auto dealers would be grateful — out of patriotism or self-interest or both.

Think again.

Those U.S. flags they like to wave at auto dealerships don’t mean “thank you.”

Instead of thanking the federal government, auto dealers continue to be  some of the largest contributors to far-right, anti-government Republicans, who rail against the very programs that pulled them from the brink of collapse.

This right-wing, anti-government hypocrisy on the part of auto dealers is especially true here in Orange County, where auto dealerships — like Irvine Auto Center — have often served as staging locations for Tea Party rallies, and where our local  car-salesman-in-chief, auto dealer and Congressman John Campbell, continues to blast the federal government for providing the money that kept his family auto dealership alive.

Foreclosure King Rules Orange County Republican Party

vulture_funds_gr1With Orange County’s real estate and mortgage industry-driven economy in shambles and local home foreclosures on the rise, you might think that our Republican politicians would want to distance themselves from those who are profiting from the misery of Orange County voters who have lost or are about to lose their homes.

Not so.

The Orange County Business Journal recently featured a glowing cover article on local Republican contributor, fundraiser, and king-maker Dale Dykema, founder and chief executive of Santa Ana-based T.D. Service Financial Corp, which bills itself as “one of the nation’s largest and most successful” foreclosure processing firms.

Not surprisingly, Dykema’s firm is “looking at record profits this year amid the foreclosure wave.”

According to the Business Journal, Dykema has helped lenders foreclose on more than 450,000 homes, and expects the current foreclosure crisis to make this his best year ever, with his company taking in more than $70 million in foreclosure fees.

Dykema also expects his good fortune to continue as the local economy tanks.

As Dykema told the Business Journal, “It takes time for the foreclosures to hit after the economy dropped. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hit a peak next year for this time around.”

The focus of the Business Journal article, however, was not on Dykema’s success as a foreclosure-profiteer or his record profits, but on his role as an Orange County GOP king-maker.

Dykema, the Business Journal explained, “has helped GOP congressmen get elected with money and campaign advice. His beneficiaries include nearly all of the county’s congressional delegation: John Campbell, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrbacher, Ken Calvert, John Lewis, as well as former congressman and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox.”

According to the Campaign Money website, Dykema contributed $54,450 to Republicans in 2008.   He is also responsible for raising many thousands more from others.

Of course, all of the current GOP congressmen on this list voted against the stimulus legislation intended to relieve the economic crisis from which Dykema is profiting.

All of them oppose efforts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

And all of them, including former congressman Chris Cox, were instrumental in creating the deregulated mortgage mess that lead to the foreclosure crisis in the first place.

Amidst the rubble of Orange County’s housing market, Dykema and his Orange County Republican cronies can be proud of helping at least one business expand:

Dykema’s.