Political TV commercial causing controversy with local car dealers

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A political TV commercial has created controversy with local car dealers.

The commercial, paid for by Democratic Congressional nominee Kristy Gnibus, suggests Republican Congressman Mike Kelly only supports those in power.

“So, Congressman Mike Kelly is a millionaire car dealer who fights for tax breaks for car deals, which tells you all you need to know.” is a line from the the commercial.

Those words from Gnibus are not sitting well with the Erie County Automobile Association.

“I don’t think there is any bias at all. That is his business.” said Matt Clark, President of Erie County Automobile Association.

Despite what Clark says, Gnibus believes there is a bias when Congressman Kelly fights for tax breaks for car dealerships.

“His job is to go to Washington and create an atmosphere that is best for all citizens and not just his special interest, which is car dealers.” Gnibus said.

The fact is, federal legislation has helped support businesses of all kinds during the pandemic, including car deals, which are an important part of the region’s economy. Clark feels that the commercial cast a negative shadow on the auto dealers use of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

“It isn’t anything that was exclusive to the auto industry. Many auto dealers qualified for it like many other manufacturing businesses or retail stores.” Clark said.

Clark says the automobile industry in Erie County supports more than 2,000 jobs. We’ve confirmed that Clark has donated more than $4,000 to the “Mike Kelly for Congress” campaign, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

“It makes sense someone who donates consistently to Mike Kelly would want to stand up and stick their neck out for him.” Gnibus said.

Clark insists the commercial is a little misleading, while Gnibus adds she does not have any issue with the PPP loan going towards any industry.

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