The PJ Tatler

Obama Decries the 'Connected' While His Government Hands Robert Kennedy Jr's Company $1.4 Billion

While in Hawaii this week, President Obama said this amid his confusion over thinking that he was actually in Asia. Asia, middle of the Pacific, whatever:

When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking, whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia, uh….the kind of fundamental reforms and changes, uh…both on the revenue side and, the….public pension side, that other countries are having to make are so much more significant than what we need to do in order to get our books in order. This doesn’t require radical changes to America or its way of life. It just means that we spread out…the sacrifice across every…uh…across every sector. So that it’s fair. So that people don’t feel as if, once again, people who are well connected, people who have lobbyists…special interests…get off easy and the burden is placed on middle class families that are already struggling.

Would you describe Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as “connected.” I would, and not just because of his family’s connection to Hugo Chavez. He’s a Kennedy, scion of the family the media describes as “American royalty” even though they’re minus one against the Bush family for producing the most presidents. RFK Jr. is as connected as they come.

Obama’s administration handed Kennedy’s company, BrightSource, $1.4 billion in loans. That’s almost three times the amount loaned to Solyndra. Both companies had big Democrats deeply involved. Both companies went under. Who pays for that? According to Obama and other liberals, the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes. So the middle class is paying for RFK Jr. to get that loan.

From an objective vantage point, investing taxpayer monies in BrightSource was a risky proposition at the time. In 2010, BrightSource, whose largest shareholder is Kennedy’s VantagePoint Partners, was up to its eyes in $1.8 billion of debt obligations and had lost $71.6 million on its paltry $13.5 million of revenue.

Even before BrightSource rattled its tin cup in front of Obama’s DOE, the company made it known publicly that its survival hinged on successfully completing the Ivanpah Solar Electrical System, which would become the largest solar plant in the world, on federal lands in California.

In its Securities and Exchange Commission filings, BrightSource further underscored the risky nature of the Ivanpah venture and, more broadly, the company’s viability:

Our future success depends on our ability to construct Ivanpah, our first utility-scale solar thermal power project, in a cost-effective and timely manner… Our ability to complete Ivanpah and the planning, development and construction of all three phases are subject to significant risk and uncertainty.

It must be nice to be connected.