New DoE loans favor even more Democratic donors

posted at 12:45 pm on September 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I noted that one of the new loans approved by the Department of Energy for green-tech stimulus just happened to favor a company with connections to Nancy Pelosi’s family.  That’s not the only connection in the batch of new loan approvals from the DoE, as the Daily Caller discovered.  Digging into investment records and public statements, it appears that a number of key donors will benefit from the Obama administration’s largesse — including a central figure in the collapse of Solyndra and the destruction of a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money:

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.

John Rossomondo also notes the connection to Ron Pelosi at SolarReserve, but there are more connections to big Democratic donors:

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.

And not just at SolarReserve, either.  First Solar got $2.1 billion in loan guarantees, despite it looking like a very bad investment.  After its share price peaked at $170 in February, it has tumbled to $65.77 this week, which means that investors don’t see a lot of optimism for the company.  In fact, that looks an awful lot like the pattern at Solyndra, where share prices dropped dramatically, alerting DoE auditors whose concerns got ignored.

Who are the investors?  One is Michael Ahearn, who pulled out a $69 million stake in the company last month, obviously not as interested in betting on First Solar as the Obama administration.  However, he did invest $123,000 in the Democratic Party over the last three cycles.

Then there’s SunPower, whose stock has dropped from $21 in April to $8.30 today, but who got a $1.3 billion loan guarantee from the White House. How did they qualify for this largesse?

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.

So we’ve paid off donors to Obama, Pelosi, and now Harry Reid.  At least they’re spreading it around.  Will we get our money back out of SunPower’s loan?  Not according to analyst firm Morningstar, which predicts losses this year and next.  Why?  Like Solyndra, their internal costs are too high to compete in the market.

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program.  It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

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This sums up Obama, like nothing other can.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM

it appears that a number of key donors will benefit from the Obama administration’s largesse

you’d think, at a certain point, that they’d been given enough money.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Pure payola… helping the bundlers who help them… Payola with MY money!!

Khun Joe on September 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

I’m not sure if there’s any “there” to this… Green Energy is an industry just like Trial Lawyers that is so dependent on the Democrats that not donating to them would be stupid.

ninjapirate on September 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program. It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

Move along, nothing to see here

/MSM

rbj on September 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Oh goody, let’s see if someone will ask the candidates at the next debate about this.

I won’t be holding my breath because DADT is much more important.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

John Rossomondo also notes the connection to Ron Pelosi at SolarReserve, but there are more connections to big Democratic donors:

…and the Feinstein husband connections and chicanries to Medicare ‘audits’ which are primarily stuffing his/her pockets, under two separate business names…are not covered by the media. Maybe next year…

Pelosi and husband are swines, of the most hypocritical nature.

Obama is a ringleader like none has ever inhabited the WH.

The fools are those who brung him.

Still, predictin for 2012:

Keep the House.

Win the Senate.

Hand Obama the re-election, on a platinum platter, when a candle holder could win against him.

Fools deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I’m shocked.

mchristian on September 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

For a guy who likes to spread the wealth around, he spends a lot of time spreading it to democrat donors and family.

lorien1973 on September 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

How is this even legal?

jawkneemusic on September 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Oh goody, let’s see if someone will ask the candidates at the next debate about this.

I won’t be holding my breath because DADT is much more important.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

That even Fox are there for the ratings and “gotchas” is a given.

That none of the candidates have the gonads to confront them and get off topic, in spite of all, is unforgivable.

The land is on a big pivot and she’s tilting toward the abyss, while fools watch Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

loot (lt)
n.
1. Valuables pillaged in time of war; spoils.
2. Stolen goods.
3. Informal Goods illicitly obtained, as by bribery.
4. Informal Things of value, such as gifts, received on one occasion.
5. Slang Money.

v. loot·ed, loot·ing, loots
v.tr.

1. To pillage; spoil.
2. To take as spoils; steal.
v.intr.

To engage in pillaging.

MNHawk on September 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Here’s a graphic suitable for the story:

http://i51.tinypic.com/2hrjo8w.jpg

I swiped it from Doug Ross’s Journal.

notta_dhimmi on September 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Today’s Laugh Line: “Hallmark has launched a line of recession-themed cards that say, ‘Sorry you lost your job.’ The good news is, the cards come pre-addressed to your congressman.” — Conan O’Brien

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Let’s not forget about wind energy as well:

Obama to raise money at Tom Carnahan’s St. Louis home

Tongueboy on September 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Obama continues to pillage America. There is no fate too awful for this most evil and vile president America has ever suffered.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Schaden,

Great article! Make this go viral on Facebook!

herm2416 on September 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM

“Hallmark has launched a line of recession-themed cards that say, ‘Sorry you lost your job.’ The good news is, the cards come pre-addressed to your congressman.” — Conan O’Brien

Uhmm—Mr. O’Brien—-MY congressman is not involved in this crap—-The guy you voted for president happens to be right in the middle of it all though.

dirtseller on September 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Yes, but these are ‘clean’ jobs and they only cost $16 million each.

What’s the problem with that?

savvydude on September 29, 2011 at 1:04 PM

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program. It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

That’s a damnable lie, Morrissey. The fact that the watchdogs of the media aren’t all over this is proof that you lie./

SKYFOX on September 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM

It’s like a money circle or something.

a capella on September 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM

There now is such a glut of PV panels on the market that you can pick up panels for about 1.30 per watt.

esnap on September 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Oh goody, let’s see if someone will ask the candidates at the next debate about this.

I won’t be holding my breath because DADT is much more important.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

That’s not why they don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it because they all do the same exact thing, although not in these amounts. As I’ve said before, people are missing the big picture. These aren’t loans. This is pure money laundering and both sides of our government have been doing the same thing for decades, and neither side is about to put a stop to it.

Ask yourself … how many arrests have been made since Issa has started holding “investigations?” These investigations, as they always are, are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. They’re an illusion. Both sides will pound their fists on the table and yell that it’s an outrage, and both sides will hold investigations, and then six months later we’ll all look back and realize that nothing ever came of them.

Our money is gone. GONE. They’ve stole it, and passed it out to themselves. Until writers like Ed stop referring to this as “bad loans” and until these people start being put in jail, it’s not going to stop.

Repeat after me …

There were no loans.
There were no ‘real’ solar companies.
There were no mistakes.
There were no bad decisions or miscalculations.

Every dime this country has is being stolen.

Gregor on September 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program. It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

Hey! It’s “The Chicago Way!”

GarandFan on September 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program. It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

I think they understand the well is about to run dry. And not just because the Dems are gonna lose big in 2012, but because this country is broke. They’re lining their own pockets before the whole system collapses. I doubt it’ll happen, but the next administration should go after these people and lock them up for what they’ve done.

Doughboy on September 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Let’s give him another $450 billion.

forest on September 29, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Obama is the ultimate corruptocrat. Truly evil

chai on September 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Oh come on Ed…the $3.5 Billion is just sitting there and the deadline to spend it is just two days away. What did you expect them to do, use some restraint and cut back on spending?

You must be an non-patriotic racist.

DrW on September 29, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Like in Solyndra, will the venture captialists get first dibs ahead of taxpayerson the bankruptcy proceeds of Solar Reserve if it goes belly up?

paulsur on September 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

We might as well start looking for donations to Hillary too. It won’t be long before she’s the candidate.

MTF on September 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

CRONY CORRUPTIONALISM AT ITS BEST.

Dhuka on September 29, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Has is dawned on anyone that Obama doesn’t care what we think or do? This corrupt and illegitimate administration is handing out our tax money like candy to ensure re-election and ideology-driven agendas! Kiss the USA goodbye if we re-elect this mutt of a Marxist! He has singlehandedly divided this country never seen since the Civil War!

JonR on September 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

There now is such a glut of PV panels on the market that you can pick up panels for about 1.30 per watt.

esnap on September 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM

While Solar Reserve is getting $737 million for 110 megawatts, or $6.70 per watt.

If it’s too expensive, the Gubmint will buy it!!!

Steve Z on September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I get on this website because I agree w/ about 90% of what everyone has to say on a given topic, but then you get these stories that makes me sick at times to the corruption going on in this government….amazing!

Static21 on September 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The DoE isn’t operating a stimulus program. It’s running a slush fund for Democratic donors.

I’m curious, is there a list of all applicants available so that we can review things like the relative levels of profitability, stability, and then investigate the political affiliations of all of them so as to sharpen the understanding of how political these choices are?

Dusty on September 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

the next administration should go after these people and lock them up for what they’ve done.

Doughboy on September 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Again … both sides have been doing the same thing. They’re not going to hold ‘real’ investigations, because they’ll all end up in jail as they all start turning on each other. Forget about it. As long as sheep voters from both sides continue to vote for the same people (like Romney or Gingrich) over and over, it’s never changing. They … are … all … the … same. They simply pretend to be different, because they know every few election cycle the people become angry and start voting for the other side. By having only two sides, they are all guaranteed to remain in power one way or the other.

Why do you think, even when they get voted out, or booted out, they all manage to stick around one way or another? It’s a club and they’re lifetime members.

Gregor on September 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Reaction from Mitt Romney….crickets.
But when it comes to Gardisil, he’s got a 15 minute video on the evils of it.

angryed on September 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Obama give excellent return on investments with other people’s money.

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM

How is this even legal?

jawkneemusic on September 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Crooks are making the laws AND deciding what’s criminal.

Take Harry Reid, Charlie Rangel, and Maxine Waters for example. They don’t answer to the law. Remember how Pelosi defended a dem rep the FBI arrested after finding 95k of bribe money in his freezer?

dogsoldier on September 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Oh… & here I was buying into this “class warfare” nonsense…

Obama doesn’t care about black people…

Now, I know what he meant when he said to Samuel Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, “… and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

He’s a raaaaaaaaaascist crony capitalist uncle tom republican!

Danny on September 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Ah, here’s a list of DOE projects funded in various ways. Randomly selecting one — Cogentrix of Alamoosa, LLC, which got a $90M loan guarantee in this month — finds the CEO being a significant Dem donor and while being the CEO of Cogentrix, he is also a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs. I haven’t run the other partners through yet.

Still, I’d like to see a list of those who applied but haven’t gotten anything.

Dusty on September 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

ackkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk! I can’t take it anymore. This is REAL taxpayers money being thrown down the drain to a bunch of political hacks who are fully invested financially in “global warming” climate change. And WE the non-believing taxpayers are FINANCING their fool-hardy (read: stupid) investments!

katablog.com on September 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

What the average Democrat politician does in an average week would be enough to immediately destroy the career of any Republican politician.

logis on September 29, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Mothers Day in da ‘hood.

bloviator on September 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

How is this even legal?

jawkneemusic on September 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

+1,000

Seriously.

Theophile on September 30, 2011 at 5:04 AM

The Department of Energy simply needs to be shut down along with about ten other departments (Education comes to mind).

Theophile on September 30, 2011 at 5:06 AM

The ‘Rats are preparing to abandon the sinking ship. Fertilizing the high ground, so to speak. This is about making sure they have a place to go and friends taken care of before Nov, 2012. Especially Pelosi.

Phil-351 on September 30, 2011 at 7:02 AM

“Has is dawned on anyone that Obama doesn’t care what we think or do? This corrupt and illegitimate administration is handing out our tax money like candy to ensure re-election and ideology-driven agendas! Kiss the USA goodbye if we re-elect this mutt of a Marxist! He has singlehandedly divided this country never seen since the Civil War!” – JonR

It’s the communist way – get half of the nation’s crooks and lazy-bums living off of the other half that works for a living – and grow the number of bums and crooks via mass-government theft, fraud and corruption.

In the immediate future we need to throw 90% of government overboard just to begin to get back to some measure of sanity.

Ron C on September 30, 2011 at 3:35 PM