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More Solar Loans Tied To Democratic Donors

From the plucky Daily Caller:

More solar companies led by Democratic donors received federal loan guarantees

By John Rossomando
09/29/2011

A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns…

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve has secured a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for a Nevada solar project.

That company has ties to George Kaiser, the Oklahoma billionaire who raised $53,500 for President Obama’s campaign in 2008. Through his Argonaut Private Equity firm, Kaiser holds a majority stake in Solyndra.

Argonaut has a voting stake on SolarReserve’s board of directors in the person of Steve Mitchell, who also serves on Solyndra’s board of directors.

Additionally, Federal Election Commission records made available by the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve board member James McDermott has contributed $61,500 to various Democratic campaigns since 2008, including $30,800 to Obama’s presidential election campaign.

McDermott’s U.S. Renewable Energy Group has a significant financial stake in SolarReserve, and has drawn scrutiny for its ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and for reportedly driving green jobs to China.

And Lee Bailey, a fellow SolarReserve board member and U.S. Renewables Group investor, has donated $21,850 since 2008 to Democratic candidates including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, California Sen. Barbara Boxer and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

SolarReserve’s board of directors also includes Jasandra Nyker of Pacific Corporate Group Asset Management, where former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ronald Pelosi, holds a leadership position.

Other data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve paid $100,000 in lobbying fees in 2009 to the Podesta Group. That firm’s principal, Tony Podesta, is the brother of John Podesta — who ran Barack Obama’s presidential transition team.

These are just a series of unfortunate coincidences.

SolarReserve’s financials are not public since it’s a privately held company, but First Solar provides a more transparent example…

First Solar founder and Chairman Michael Ahearn, whom Reuters reported cashed in $68.9 million of his company’s stock last month, has donated $123,650, along with his wife, to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates during the three most recent cycles, mostly in Arizona.

The solar energy giant, the nation’s biggest, also spent more than $1.5 million lobbying Congress and the Obama administration since 2009 on the stimulus and subsequent green-jobs plans. This included approximately $400,000 paid to the Washington Tax Group, which also represented Solyndra

More coincidence.

First Solar’s competitor SunPower has similarly received a $1.3 billion loan guarantee for a solar project in California…

SunPower has paid lobbyist Patrick Murphy, a close confidant of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, at least $290,000 in lobbying fees since 2009.

SunPower’s political action committee gave $15,650 to Democratic congressional candidates in 2010 and only $500 to a single Republican candidate. Reid received the largest slice of that pie, a $4,000 campaign contribution.

The Spanish firm [sic!] Abengoa Solar received a $1.45 billion loan guarantee for an Arizona solar project.. Abengoa also recently reached an agreement for a second loan guarantee, $1.2 billion for another Arizona project…

We thought we were trying to help US companies compete with the rest of the world. Why are we giving loans to Spanish solar companies?

Abengoa Solar’s lobbying efforts are spearheaded internally by Fred Morse, a veteran of the Department of Energy from the Carter and Reagan administrations. Since 2009, the company has paid Ernst and Young $330,000 in lobbying fees, according to information made available by the Center for Responsible Politics.

Abengoa also enlisted the help of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, according to the Institute for Energy Research, to pressure the Department of Energy to expedite the loan guarantees

More guilt by association. Just because these companies funneled money to the Democrat Party, it doesn’t mean that they got any special favors.

After all, there must be hundreds of economically doomed Republican donating companies that the Obama administration has given billions to in their tireless efforts to boost the economy.

We’ll be hearing about them any minute now.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 29th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “More Solar Loans Tied To Democratic Donors”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Crony Capitalism is bad enough but Crony Corporatism will ruin the Republic.

    (but then, none of this would happen if we elected people to office who held the highest responsibility of Office to be to protect and serve the Constitution and not some GD “constituent”)

  2. proreason says:

    Every time the country rises up against something, they cram it back down our throats twice as hard.

  3. Astravogel says:

    Ah, the historical Spoils System is back. I’m voting Whig…


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