The Center for Public Integrity: "The current controversy is over a bill pushed by Cally Houck, mother of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, 24 and 20 years old, who were killed in 2004 when the Chrysler PT Cruiser they rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car crashed into an oncoming semi-tractor trailer in central California. The car had been under a safety recall for a fire hazard that caused a loss of steering.
"Houck successfully sued the company and embarked on a crusade to get a law passed that would prohibit rental car companies from offering vehicles that are subject to safety recalls."
"Rep. Williams offered an amendment on the floor of the House just before midnight on Nov. 4 that alleviated the dealers’ concerns. It would, as understood by Williams and NADA, carve out an exemption for auto dealers. It would, in effect, allow them to rent or loan out vehicles even if they were subject to safety recalls. Dealers often loan or rent cars to customers who are getting theirs serviced."
"According to the statement [from Williams], the top lobbyist for NADA, Michael Harrington, was concerned about the effect the rental car act would have on his dealer members. He emailed Sean Dillion, Rep. Williams’ legislative director on Oct. 29. Dillion in turn asked J. Spencer Freebairn, Williams’ deputy chief of staff, to contact Harrington to discuss “issues surrounding” the bill in question.
“Mr. Freebairn did so, and by that afternoon NADA had sent proposed language for Amendment 819 to him,” according to the statement, signed by Williams."
"The [auto dealer] industry, through contributions from individuals and political action committees, has given him a total of $667,950 over his relatively short career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That ranks him fifth among active and former House members, which is a little misleading."