Obama’s Friends & Family Government Loan Program
April 13, 2012 - 11:19 am
Barack Obama has declared war on the wealthy (with motherhood coming under fire in one of those Democrat attacks) while clucking at Republicans during his $35,000-a-plate dinners and fundraisers at the homes of Hollywood elite. They haven’t added a photo of Obama to the dictionary entry for “shameless” but word is they’re considering it.
“Graft” and “cronyism” may also get photos of the Won. Those who donated big bucks to his 2008 run have benefited directly from their investment, in the form of government loans to their pet enterprises.
We all know about Solyndra, the “no es bueno” loan that cost Americans about $500 million. That loan is only the beginning. Of the $20.5 billion that Obama’s Department of Energy has loaned out, well over half went to companies with connections to Obama through donations or advocacy.
Here’s a list of the loanees, pay attention to the loans under the 1705 program. Loanees tied to Obama and/or the Democrats include:
Beacon Power, beneficiary of a $43 million federal loan guarantee via the stimulus, in November 2009. Beacon Power got a return of $17,500 for every dollar it invested in Obama and various other Democrats. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 and is selling out to another company.
Nevada Geotherman/Ormat received $79 million in loan guarantees and a $66 million tax-free grant. It employs a whopping 22 people and is burning through its cash reserves. Paul Thomsen and Kai Anderson are top execs with Ormat, which has partnered up with Nevada Geothermal. They’re both former aides to none other than Sen. Harry Reid. Maybe that connection will help shield Ormat from its numerous legal problems. Legal complaints have been filed against Ormat Nevada for attempting to circumvent licensing agreements to avoid the California Energy Commission’s licensing authority. Regulation for thee, but not for me. Long-term shareholders have filed a lawsuit against company executives for “breaches of fiduciary duties,” including securities laws violations. Regulation for thee, but not for me. These include making “false and/or misleading statements” about finances. This came about because Ormat admitted that its Annual Report 10-K forms between 2008 and 2010 were no longer “reliable” and needed to be restated. Four other lawsuits were filed in a separate action on the same case.
Ener1, an electric car battery manufacturer that won direct praise from Vice President Joe Biden, received $118 million in stimulus grants. It turned around and spent $18 million of that taxpayer cash to buy a struggling Norwegian electric car company. Ener1 has filed for bankruptcy. Ener1′s loan was the result of lobbying work by “green guru” investor David Prend. Prend has lobbied the DoE to “invest” in “green” tech firms since the Bush years, but only succeeded after Obama’s inauguration. Prend heavily lobbied the Obama administration to invest in both Ener1 and Solyndra. David Prend may well be the nexus of the whole Obama green scandal. His name turns up all over the place.
Severstal was to be a DoE loan recipient, but that loan has been pulled back. Severstal is owned by Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov, who is close with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Why should American taxpayers loan money to a Russian company close to Putin? Perhaps in his second term, Obama will have the flexibility to turn that DoE loan back on.
Sunpower and NRG received $1.2 billion in loan guarantees. Two weeks after the loan was approved a portion of the company was sold to the French oil giant Total. The solar power company is cutting costs in U.S. operations and setting up a solar manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico. In the U.S. the loan would create only 10-15 permanent jobs. Sunpower is carrying $820 million in debt, which is $20 million more than its market capitalization. The lobbyist for the company is the son of Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who was paid $178,000. Rep. Miller championed the loan for Sunpower, writing a letter to the Department of Energy pushing for support of the loan. NRG has given mid-six figures in campaign contributions to Democrats.
Even before the loan was approved, investors in Sunpower filed a class action lawsuit concerning violation of federal securities laws.
Brookfield Energy (Granite Reliable) received a $168.9 million loan. The lobbyist on this project was Joe Biden’s son. Nancy Ann DeParle, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, was the managing partner of the capital firm that financed Granite Reliable. It was sold to Brookfield energy on the condition that the federal loan would be approved. Brookfield Energy’s lobbyist since 2009 is Heather Podesta and Partners. She is a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and wife of Tony Podesta.
Brightsource Energy received a $1.6 billion loan guarantee. It has consistently lost money and is heavily in debt. John Bruson, President Obama’s Commerce Secretary, served as chairman of the board of Brightsource. Sanjay Wagle, at Department of Energy, was a partner in Vantage Point Venture Partners, which is the largest equity owner in the company. Other investors in this project include the Google guys. Does a company with access to Google’s deep pockets really need to tap into taxpayer dollars?
The stimulus was supposed to stimulate the US economy. Instead, it quickly became a means for the Obama administration to stimulate pet causes and lavish tax dollars on people with connections to him and his party. It was corrupt, and there is probably even more corruption lurking in the nearly trillion dollars that the stimulus cost.