Now that he's running for Congress everything is wrong with America for Stewart Mills III. Via Duluth, The Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz reports at the end of Nolan duel with GOP ‘young gun’ heats up early:
But Mills’ free-market philosophy is likely to be challenged by Democrats, who note that the Mills Automotive Group sold more than $3 million in inventory under Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program in 2009 and 2010.
Mills called the job stimulus program “another failed example of Washington, D.C., trying to legislate the free market.” His family business only took part, he said, “in an effort to protect employees and our customer base.”
A friend in the Cities pointed out to Bluestem that the family business was not always so down on Cash for Clunkers. While the headline of Renee Richardson's 2009 report about the program in the Brainerd Dispatch was lukewarm, the Mills employee interviewed for Car program had a few clunkers of its own states that "there is no question that it was a success":
Thinned ranks of automobiles on area dealership lots attest to the popularity of the Cash for Clunkers program.
"It worked very well for sales," said Rick Goble, Mills Motors director of operations. "It was a challenge to administer. There was a great deal of confusion but it was certainly a boost to business." . . .
. . . Goble quoted the National Automobile Dealers Association's report that the program started with 30 federal employees and about 200 contract workers, which grew to nearly 5,000 in the last two weeks.
"They started with far too few of people," Goble said. "Overall, there is no question that it was a success and nobody could have estimated the kind of demand there was, and everything got overwhelmed that's just the way it was." . . .
This isn't the first time Bluestem has seen a split between Three's anti-government statements and the amount of public investments he puts in his pockets. Check out last July's Hurdles, barriers & handicaps: Mills Fleet prince hates 'em, forgets about millions in subsidies, wherein Bluestem looked at the tax breaks and subsidies that Mills Fleet Farm stores have received.
The Democratic attack that the Diaz article mentions is available on the DCCC's website: MILLIONAIRE STEWART MILLS III OPENS “CASH FOR CLUNKERS HEADQUARTERS,” THEN CLOSES IT. No mention of the Dispatch article there.
Photo: Stewart may have made out with Cash for Clunkers in 2009 (like he did with this lady in a December 2008 photo), but he so did not respect it later. Facebook photo via the Daily Mail.
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