Tesla fights Gov. Rick Snyder with help from conservatives

Elon Musk Has Given $250k To Republican Groups In Past 12 Years

Elon Musk appears to be making sure Telsa is covering its political bases as it looks to sway state government towards allowing for direct factory-to-consumer sales, especially in Michigan.

Musk and Tesla have joined forces with politically conservative groups like the Michigan Christian Coalition, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, and even the Michigan Moose Association, according to Teslarati. Musk looks to chip away at the political clout of Gov. Rick Snyder, who's already in the political crosshairs because of the Flint water debacle. The loose coalition hopes to reverse the effects of a 2014 bill partly backed by General Motors that outlaws automakers from selling direct to consumers without a third-party dealership distribution network. Notably, Tesla also acquired Michigan-based tooling company Rivera Tool and Die Co. last year.

Meanwhile, Tesla continues to flex its political clout in its home state of California. California's state senate passed recent bill allowing out-of-state consumers to buy their Teslas in California without paying sales tax, Green Car Reports says. With the bill, the state appears to be banking on a boost in potential visits from really wealthy people in return for the loss of the 7.5 percent sales tax, which amounts to $7,000 to $8,000 or so that would otherwise flow into state coffers.

Notably, about a third of the $750,000 Musk has given to various non-profits during the past dozen years have been affiliated with the Republican party, according to Follow The Money, so it looks like Musk has been trying to reach across that proverbial aisle for quite a while.

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