Congress candidate Stewart Mills profited big from Cash for Clunkers program he now decries

StewartMillsNewrect.jpg
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."

SEE ALSO: Stewart Mills, GOP congressional candidate, hits a beer bong [PHOTOS]

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 arupar@citypages.com.

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32 comments
nm_156
nm_156

Just like the fast food industry most of the Fleet Farm employees are on government assistance because they can't earn a living wage! Mills is anti union and against any increase in the minimum wage. Most people who work at FF get paid a very low wage. Don't let his good ole' boy pro 2nd amendment persona fool you. This guy is not a friend of the working man. He's a job creator all right. He creates jobs that pay slave wages.

He's a typical Republican who will cut social programs and throw seniors, disabled folks and poor people under the bus. Another corporate puppet.

He's also just another super PAC whore. This dog don't hunt...

1Sonny2
1Sonny2

Its so humorous to find liberals suddenly on some moral kick....please. Deep down there isnt a liberal who gives a rip about these pics...its just politics as usual...dig up whatever you can to tear down the GOP. Pathetic ! This coming from the party of adulterer Bill Clinton and Obama who has admitted doing cocaine in college and smoking pot . And you're going to use a beer bong pic and fake kiss picture ? Give me a break...hypocrisy !!!!

hollysamp
hollysamp

I'm not surprised there was no comment from Mills' campaign.  He is starting early  "only talking to groups that appeal to the far right end of his base."  I know this because I'm a member of moderate groups that have invited Mills to events and he's said "no thanks, not a candidate yet" when he clearly is campaigning, showing up for events, issuing statements with the far right crowd. Hey Mr. Mills -- how about you campaign like you intend, if you win, to represent all of us, not just those of us who support your narrow views?

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

This is a very far stretch to smear a candidate. Are you going to run a story about how Mark Dayton advocates the rich pay their fare share but keeps his money out of state? Or how he bought the election from the other democratic party primary candidates who were actually higher in polls.  That is 10 times more hypocritical than this Mills guy. Mills never asked for cash for clunkers to happen.


City Pages is to democrats and no nothing hipsters what FOX news is to religious conservative Republicans. There are no journalists at either company.

rjohnphil
rjohnphil

It was a failed program. Brookings estimated that the $4.8B program cost $1.4M per job created. Mills is in the car business and Cash for Clunkers was designed to incent people to trade in their "clunkers" for new cars. Of course his dealerships would benefit. No story here.  

Phillip Dresbach
Phillip Dresbach

Are you surprised? I think I would be more shocked and my head would probably explode to see a honest/trustworthy politician these days... would almost be refreshing...

ElliotPark
ElliotPark

It's great to see Jeff Spicoli making news again. Remember people on ludes should not drive.

Bryan Thomsen
Bryan Thomsen

This guy is one of, if not the biggest, tools I have ever known. Good lord. If Stuart Mills gets elected to any public office it would totally make me lose faith in my fellow Minnesotans and their decision making.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

I've been very pleased to see this at the close of so many articles recently:


"An email and voicemail left with Mills's campaign director seeking comment for this piece haven't been returned as this is published."

Dave Zuercher
Dave Zuercher

It's called capitalism and it's beautiful. If the commander in chief hadn't enabled the program, he couldn't have profited. Put someone sensible in the White House and this wouldn't happen.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

2nd amendment rally?  how stupid


there would be no rally if not for the 1st amendment!!!

Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner

1984 called. It want's it's hair and alligator shirt back.

WilliamJ83
WilliamJ83

When a rich "conservative" takes advantage of the system, it's perfectly smart. When someone who's poor takes advantage, it's "welfare queens" and we should drug test them all!

Doug Mulville
Doug Mulville

another Tea PArty darling that is a ginormous hypocrite. Leave the party boy d-bag at home and let real adults run....

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

And? Oh ya.. and you're still upset over banks and mortgage companies taking advantage of stupid laws and regs pushed out by the gov't.. Just because you're smart enough to take advantage of the stupidity of gov't doesn't mean you agree that the policy or law was intelligent in the first place.

webcelt
webcelt

@rjohnphilOf course there's a story. Mills has depended on the largesse of the government. He's a thorough hypocrite.

_Joe_
_Joe_

There are ZERO purely capitalistic economies in the world.


NONE.


Just as there are zero purely socialist economies, etc...


Every nation's economic structure is just a point on a sliding scale.  If America embraced pure capitalism, it would tank overnight.

webcelt
webcelt

@CinBluelandActually, that's pretty much the definition of proving your agreement. Why be surprised he wants that money when his company demands local tax breaks to set up its stores? I wonder if they'd even be in business without government help. Mills is the classic example of the guy who's born on third base and expects applause for hitting a triple.

rjohnphil
rjohnphil

@webcelt@rjohnphil I disagree. As a business person he played by the rules and isn't obligated to behave in a manner that would cause financial harm to himself or his employees. He can oppose something as a citizen that might benefit his business financially. I could accuse you or other liberals of being hypocrites for advocating higher taxes but declining to write  checks to the federal or state government that exceed your tax liability. Why don't you do that?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Like you said, never been tried. The economy probably would tank over night because of the massive shift in what people are used too...then come back better than ever after the undesirables died off.

rjohnphil
rjohnphil

@webcelt@rjohnphil He would be a hypocrite if he decried other similar programs but not the ones that he profited from. In this instance he would have put his business at a distinct competitive advantage if he had refused to participate in the C for C program. Actually the car business isn't even his. His sister runs it and he runs Fleet Farm but it doesn't matter. Wealthy liberals may not publically whine but they certainly pay tax accountants a lot of money to limit their liability. Pretty hypocritical. Very noble that you don't whine about your taxes, do you pay any, I mean other than FICA withholdings.

webcelt
webcelt

@rjohnphil@webceltLet me explain hypocrisy. He complains about other people getting something from the government while taking help himself. Liberals advocate higher taxes and pay them without whining. One is hypocrisy and one isn't. Mills talks free market slogans while playing crony-capitalism with his business.

nm_156
nm_156

You sound like Hitler. Heil mingtran...

nm_156
nm_156

You sound like Hitler.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

CEO's would be the first to bitch.

I don't advocate anarchism, I don't really think it would work. I'm pretty sure minarchism would. When we tried it before it was rad.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@mingtran

The CEOs of corporations that benefit from the socialist aspects of the US economy would be the first to bitch about it.


The problem is that a strong and stable employee base is the foundation of most successful companies, but it is not directly profitable.  No one would bankroll infrastructure, or health services, or employment services if they were looking to make a quick return.  These programs don't pay off in stock price.  They pay off in better overall economic stability for all.

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