Ohio car dealers friendly with Rep. John Boehner describe him as a small businessman at heart who understands their concerns, remembers his humble roots and believes passionately in small government.
But when it comes to legislation, the likely next speaker of the U.S. House presents a more complicated picture.
Boehner, R-Ohio, voted against the three bills that have mattered most to dealers during the Obama administration's time in office:
-- He opposed $3 billion cash-for-clunkers legislation, which boosted 2009 auto sales.
-- He voted against a spending bill with a provision creating an arbitration process for rejected General Motors and Chrysler dealers.
-- He came out against the $30 billion stimulus proposal this fall that had a section expanding government-backed floorplan credit for small dealerships.
"Apparently his fiscal conservatism trumped dealers' rights," said Alan Spitzer, an Ohio dealer who is a co-leader of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a group of rejected dealers.
Boehner, as leader of the Republican minority in the House, brought nearly all the other Republicans along with him on those votes. As speaker-in-waiting after last week's elections swept in a Republican majority, it is not clear how he will represent dealer interests.