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Sen. Shelby Arranging The Funeral Of Domestic Auto Industry

Just read a CNNMoney story covering a recent press conference by the four prominent Republicans -- Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and David Vitter, R-La. -- who are leading the charge in the Senate to deny a bridge loan to the US auto industry.

At least half a dozen Republican senators have vowed to fight the auto bailout legislation, calling the bill a "travesty" that would only "delay the funeral" of the U.S. domestic auto industry.

It is not clear whether the group of Republicans have enough backing from colleagues to kill the legislation outright. . ."I think we're going to have a lot more friends than you probably think," Shelby said.

Shelby denied that his opposition was linked to the significant presence of foreign automakers in his home state of Alabama: "If I had five GM or Ford plants in my state I would oppose this bill," he said.

If you believe that one, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you. Of course, Shelby didn't mention the billion plus dollars of federal, state and local taxpayer money he's steered towards foreign automakers over the years, nor did he mention his co-authoring (with Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd) of the first iteration of the bank bailout bill that was widely considered a giveaway to Bank of America -- a company that has donated thousands of dollars to the political campaigns of both Senators.

Although it feels like these facts should be reported every time Sen. Shelby opens his mouth on this topic, I guess that if reporters spent time detailing the conflict of interest baggage carried by our Congressional representatives, we'd probably not have room for much other reporting.

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