Congress candidate Stewart Mills profited big from Cash for Clunkers program he now decries
Mills directly and substantially benefitted from a government program he now characterizes as a failure.
In a recent profile of his race against 8th District incumbent Rick Nolan, Republican congressional candidate Stewart Mills referred to the Cash for Clunkers program as "another failed example of Washington, D.C., trying to legislate the free market."
Mills also told attendees of a 2nd Amendment rally last year that "St. Paul has never created a job in its entire existence and Washington D.C. has never created a job in its entire existence."
In light of those statements, it's interesting to note that Rick Goble, director of operations for Mills's car business, Mills Automotive, said back in 2009 that Cash for Clunkers "worked very well for sales... it was certainly a boost to business."
Furthermore, a July 2009 Mills Automotive ad refers to the company as your "Cash for Clunkers Headquarters!"
And with regard to that "Washington has never created a job" thing? The Star Tribune reports that Mills Automotive sold more than $3 million in inventory under the Obama administration's Cash for Clunkers program in 2009 and 2010. Relatedly, the Congressional Research Service concluded that 60,000 jobs were created and $7.8 billion added to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product as a result of Cash for Clunkers.
Mills, however, now talks as though he was forced to reap Cash for Clunkers' multi-million-dollar benefit under duress. In that aforementioned campaign profile, Mills says his car business only took part in the program "in an effort to protect employees and our customer base."
An email and voicemail left with Mills's campaign director seeking comment for this piece haven't been returned as this is published.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.
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