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A one-term senator from Michigan, Spencer Abraham was the No. 1 recipient of campaign contributions from the automotive industry, receiving more than $700,000 for his failed Senate run in 2000 from contributors like General Motors, Ford and Lear Corp. One of his top contributors, DaimlerChrysler, is introducing an extra large SUV to the U.S. market this year. Daimler’s SUV, considered a "military spin-off," is a foot longer than the SUVs currently on the road and will only get about 10 miles per gallon. The debate over whether to raise or lower fuel economy standards is expected to surface again this year, especially as the country struggles with an energy crisis. Daimler is one of 139 companies that joined the Coalition for Vehicle Choice, a lobbying group that opposes setting fuel economy regulations. (The current standard for SUVs is 20.7 miles to the gallon.) The coalition gave Abraham $178,674 in 1999-2000. For Abraham’s full money profile during his service in the Senate, click here.
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