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September 24, 2010 / J. Shaw

Tax Payer Dollars Used by GM Making Political Contribtions ?

General Motors Co. has begun to once again contribute to political campaigns, lifting a self-imposed ban on political spending put in place during the auto maker’s U.S.-financed bankruptcy restructuring last year.

The Detroit company gave $90,500 to candidates running in the current election cycle, Federal Election Commission records show.

The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).

The list also includes Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican Whip, who would likely assume a top leadership post if Republicans win control of the House in November.

It isn’t unusual for big companies like GM to spend on political campaigns, but complicating GM’s situation is that the company is majority-owned by the U.S. government. GM is planning to return to the public stock markets later this year, allowing the U.S. to begin to sell off its roughly 61% stake in the company.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company stopped making political contributions in spring 2009 to focus on its taxpayer-financed bankruptcy reorganization.

“As we’ve emerged as a new company, we’re not going to sit on the sidelines as our competitors and other industries who have PACs are participating in the political process,” Mr. Martin said. He called GM’s political action committee is “an effective means for our employees to pool their resources and have their collective voice heard.”

Mr. Martin added that the company has supported members of both parties who “approach issues thoughtfully” and “support a strong auto industry.”

Article…...GM Resumes Political Giving  wsj.com/article/  By JOSH MITCHELL

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