Videos: Romney, RNC attack crony capitalism in Obama stimulus programs

posted at 12:01 pm on July 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

By golly, I think we found the Analogy of the Year.  BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings did some sleuthing into the allegations of crony capitalism in Barack Obama’s green-tech subsidy program, a major part of the overall February 2009 stimulus plan that supposedly would spark enough job creation to keep unemployment below 8%.  How seriously did the administration take its stewardship of these funds?  Paul Holland, one of Obama’s big contributors in 2008 and who received $6 million in subsidies, describes the scene in a rather colorful way:

In a video appearance from 2009, venture capitalist Paul Holland — who had given the maximum legal contribution to Obama, and whose companies received over 6 million in government dollars — described his feelings when heard about the billions up for grabs.

“He came in to do his talk and opened his talk with, ‘I’m Matt Rogers I am the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and I have $134 billion that I have to disperse between now and the end of December,’” Holland told the audience. “So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard.”

Holland continued: “And I had the lack of judgment to go up and share that with him and the other people who were all standing around him…Fortunately for me they all laughed and thought it was funny.”

That’s at least somewhat amusing.  The case of Steve Westly doesn’t have the same comedic factor, but it’s a bit more telling.  Hastings, who followed up on a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News, notes one particular e-mail in which the Obama fundraiser none-too-subtly name-drops when dealing with the Department of Energy — from which he previously received nearly $500 million in green-tech subsidies:

“Please forgive the delay on this, but the Administration has asked me to co-host events for Valeria[sic] Jarrett (last Thursday) and Jim Messina and Steven Chu (both of which are tomorrow) so things have been a bit busy on this end,” he wrote to an Obama energy official in an email on March 8, 2010.

(The email exchanges can be found here.)

Westly sent the email during his vetting process to sit on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, a position he still holds, according to his online bio at the Westly Group.

Team Romney follows up today with another ad attacking the several links between Obama’s green-tech subsidies and his contributors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KbSXkP0dLw&feature=youtu.be

The campaign sent the documentation for their claims in a press release:

  • Top Obama Fundraisers Worked In His Department Of Energy “As It Showered Billions In Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Money On Alternative Energy Firms.”“Several of Barack Obama’s top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.” (Ronnie Green and Matthew Mosk, “Bundlers On The Inside,”iWatch9/29/11)
  • “Several Political Allies” Of President Obama Had “Ties To Companies Receiving Chunks” Of Taxpayer Money From The Stimulus. “A joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity that will air on World News with Diane Sawyer tonight has found that Westly is just one of several political allies of the president who have ties to companies receiving chunks of that money through loans, grants, or loan guarantees.” (Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk, “Did Obama Administration Play Favorites With Energy Loans?,” ABC News, 10/30/11)
  • “Nearly 200 Of [President Obama’s] Biggest Donors Have Landed Plum Government Jobs And Advisory Posts, Won Federal Contracts Worth Millions Of Dollars For Their Business Interests…” “More than two years after President Obama took office vowing to banish ‘special interests’ from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found.” (Fred Schulte, et al, “Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More,” iWatch News, 6/15/11)
  • Obama Fundraiser Steve Westly “Has Had A Stake In At Least Five Companies That Have Won DOE Support.” “Obama’s political supporters were also investors in companies that had applied for loans. Westly has had a stake in at least five companies that have won DOE support; four won funding before he joined Chu’s board. While it is common for presidents to reward top donors with ambassadorships or other political posts, the Sunlight Foundation’s Bill Allison said it is unusual to see a major donor such as Spinner given a position inside a relatively obscure government loan program.” (Ronnie Green and Matthew Mosk, “Bundlers On The Inside,”iWatch9/29/11)
  • The Obama Administration Awarded Solyndra A $535 Million Loan Guarantee – The Company Went Bankrupt In 2011. “In a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to create green jobs, solar-cell maker Solyndra announced Wednesday that it will close its remaining Fremont factory, lay off its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy.  The news marked an abrupt end for a company once considered among the most innovative in a fast-changing industry. The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers. Solyndra was the first company to win one of the guarantees, receiving $535 million in 2009 to build its second factory in Fremont less than a mile from the company’s original plant.” (David R. Baker and Carolyn Said, “Solyndra Closes Fremont Plant – Stimulus Hopes Dim,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/11)
  • The Obama Administration Awarded Solyndra A $535 Million Loan Guarantee – The Company Went Bankrupt In 2011. “In a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to create green jobs, solar-cell maker Solyndra announced Wednesday that it will close its remaining Fremont factory, lay off its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy.  The news marked an abrupt end for a company once considered among the most innovative in a fast-changing industry. The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers. Solyndra was the first company to win one of the guarantees, receiving $535 million in 2009 to build its second factory in Fremont less than a mile from the company’s original plant.” (David R. Baker and Carolyn Said, “Solyndra Closes Fremont Plant – Stimulus Hopes Dim,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/11)
  •  In 2009, The Department Of Energy Granted Fisker A $529 Million Stimulus Loan Guarantee That Was Intended To Help Revive A Former GM Plant In Delaware.“In September, Secretary Chu announced a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids, which will save hundreds of millions gallons of gasoline and offset millions of tons of carbon pollution by 2016. Of the total loan, $359 million is going to revive manufacturing at the Boxwood Plant.  The Boxwood Plant will support Fisker Automotive’s Project NINA, the development and build of a mass-market plug-in hybrid sedan.” (Press Release, “Vice President Biden Announces Reopening Of Former GM Boxwood Plant,” Office Of The Vice President, 10/27/09)
  • “With The Approval Of The Obama Administration,” Fisker Began Assembling Its First Line Of Cars In Finland. “With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.” (Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, “Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland,” ABC News, 10/20/11)
  • “Fisker Used The First $169 Million In Taxpayer Funds To Bring To Market The Karma, A Flashy $100,000 Hybrid Sports Sedan That It Assembles In Finland.”(Matthew Mosk, “Fisker May Never Build Electric Cars In US,” ABC News, 5/30/12)
  • Today, The Fisker Plant In Delaware Is “Absolutely Empty” After Laying Off Workers. “Fisker Automotive has laid off another dozen workers at the former General Motors plant in Delaware that it has been refitting with federal and state money to build a new sedan. The layoffs, which occurred quietly Friday, come as California-based Fisker continues talks with the U.S. Energy Department to unfreeze loan money that could determine whether it ever builds a car at the plant. … Jeffrey Garland, a Delawarean who was spearheading community affairs and business development efforts in the state for Fisker, said the Fisker plant, shut down by GM in 2009, is ‘absolutely empty.’” (“Fisker On Ropes? Delaware Plant ‘Absolutely Empty,’” USA Today, 4/18/12)
  • SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER: “A recent report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop revealed that since this program began, 79 percent of the $2.1 billion in stimulus grants awarded through it went to overseas companies — $2.1 billion. At a time when millions of American are unemployed, this is beyond outrageous. How do you think it looks to workers at the wind turbine plant at Vestas in Windsor, Colorado, who were just laid off? Or in other states where workers are also being let go because there is not enough manufacturing work?” (Senator Chuck Schumer, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 3/3/10)

Clearly, Team Romney wants to use this as an answer to the attacks on Bain Capital.  The comparison sets up this question for Romney: Do you care more about how I spent my own money before 1999, or how Obama has spent yours since 2008?  That could be a very effective rebuttal, if Romney chooses to make it.

Update: Team Romney also released this new mashup from yesterday’s speech, and Obama’s reference to small business:

Update II: Fixed problem with embedded video.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Ed, Why are you talking about a billion dollars like it’s a lot of money?

-Krugman

Kataklysmic on July 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

“When I have to expand my business and need money to do that, who puts up their home as collateral for the loan ? It’s certainly not somebody else.”

.. unless you’re an Obama contributor with an enterprise like Solyndria.

J_Crater on July 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Believably unbelievable.

derecho on July 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Keep hitting him, Mitt! The only jobs created by Obarky are for his political patrons and donors.

Slainte on July 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

2008- “I am the one we’ve been waiting for”

2012- “These are the ads we have been waiting for”…

Thanks Mitt..

hillsoftx on July 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Filmed at a trekkie convention obviously

gatorboy on July 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Good commercial, Team Mitt. Good, but not great.

First, you might consider some 60-second ads. Second, get whoever handled Ron Paul’s ads to do your stuff. They understand “buzzworthy”.

JohnGalt23 on July 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I seem to remember back once upon a time when Obummer claimed he was a “Different” kind of politician.

Obviously that was another lie..

Money, money changes everything..

RockyJ. on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Punch back twice as hard. Get the marxist out of office.

rbj on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

You realize, of course, that NONE of these companies got to where they are by themselves. They had help…

Kraken on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

The problem is that there are so many things to attack Obama on, it may be difficult to make a coherent argument. How do you simultaneously pound him on the economy, jobs, taxes, Obamacare, FF, regulation, Keystone, rule of law, crony capitalism, etc., etc.? There are really way too many things that should disqualify Obama from being president. It brings to mind an episode of the Simpsons where doctors say that the only thing keeping Montgomery Burns alive is that he has too many diseases that can kill him and none of them can get the job done for all of the others.

besser tot als rot on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Matt Rogers is taxpayers are about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard.

There – fixed.

natasha333 on July 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

THIS! Is taking the gloves off…

There is so much out there that O has done, it’s all the ammunition that Romney needs to solidify the base…

Here for starters: http://obamalies.net/obama-lies-directory

And this: http://obamalies.net/list-of-lies

Oh and the list goes on ‘n’ on ‘n’ on…

Scrumpy on July 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Having been a resident of Illinois for the past 62 years let me say you don’t know the half of it. Chicago politicians which all of these people are treat government as an on going criminal enterprise. The vig, the juice, that’s what they’re all about. Period.

bluesdoc70 on July 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

It’s fitting that these folks use criminals and hookers as their analogy partners.

VegasRick on July 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

So a dem venture capitalist is ok but mitt as a venture capitalist is evil

Keep on the meme mitt cuz you know the lsm wont see the irony of it all

cmsinaz on July 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Hmmmm not trolls!

derecho on July 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Does that guy go to Comic Con dressed as Capt. Kirk?

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM

not=no

derecho on July 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Great ad!!! Love the burning bills, mentioning bankrupt Solyndra, cars made in Finland, and including upChuck Schumer saying 78% of the money went to overseas companies was a masterpiece.

Play this in all the swing states. Hey Bammie? You wanna talk about outsourcing?

Steve Z on July 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM


“He came in to do his talk and opened his talk with, ‘I’m Matt Rogers I am the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and I have $134 billion that I have to disperse between now and the end of December,’” Holland told the audience. “So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogersthose pissants who work hard and pay their taxes, and have no say, whatsoever … are about to get treated like hookers dropped into a prison exercise yard.”

There, I fixed it for you, you contemptible, fu@#ing, sonofabitch.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

What timing for a post Cronyism—EXPOSED—by Okeefe and his gang at Project Veritas…

hillsoftx on July 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Terrible ad! It starts out being about cronyism, and ends with the overseas issue. It is confusing, disjointed. It mentions Solyndra, but does NOT say that billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama bundler, was THE major investor in Solyndra and walked away with millions in taxpayer dollars when the company failed. CONNECT THE DAMN DOTS for the voters! Obama paid off a major campaign contributor with TAXPAYER DOLLARS by investing in a company HE KNEW would fail. So YOUR tax dollars are funding Obama’s campaign. Say it, dammit!

Rational Thought on July 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Cut it down to 30 or 40 seconds and get it on TV.

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

To sum it up in three letters,the taxpayers got it up the gazzop.

docflash on July 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM

What a vulgar and demeaning analogy. That man owes an apology to hookers.

Jim Treacher on July 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Good. You know, a lot of people are still pissed about that whole stimulus boondoggle. Good to remind them.

mbs on July 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

It’s the taxpayers who are being gang-raped.

theCork on July 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I like the Romney speech, especially about Obama attacking success. I just wish that he could admit that, while being the most conservative he could get in MA, his MA record was not “severely conservative” and Romneycare is not “fundamentally conservative.” Those two positions make anything he says about promoting the free market and success, and about limiting government difficult to believe.

besser tot als rot on July 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

When is the House Ethics Committee going to drag these crooks to justice?

John the Libertarian on July 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

“Lots of smart people try to rip off the taxpayers. If you scammed the taxpayers out of billions and billions of dollars, you didn’t do that yourself. We made that happen.” —President Barack Obama

eyedoc on July 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The only way the first ad could be improved is to find a way to connect those companies to Obama donors. That’s a big deal.

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Terrible ad! It starts out being about cronyism, and ends with the overseas issue.

Rational Thought on July 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

It is hard to stay on topic when there are just so many things to attack Obama on. You start wanting to take extra pot shots in every ad. All that does is weaken your original argument and confuse the viewer.

besser tot als rot on July 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

No wonder Obama thinks that if you’re successful you owe it to the government. That’s the way he’s always done it. He doesn’t realize that there is a path to success that doesn’t involve graft, corruption and cronyism. And of course, if he has his way there won’t be.

John_W on July 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

…run the same ads continually until the MSM is forced to notice what they ignore.

KOOLAID2 on July 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The problem is that there are so many things to attack Obama on, it may be difficult to make a coherent argument. How do you simultaneously pound him on the economy, jobs, taxes, Obamacare, FF, regulation, Keystone, rule of law, crony capitalism, etc., etc.? There are really way too many things that should disqualify Obama from being president. It brings to mind an episode of the Simpsons where doctors say that the only thing keeping Montgomery Burns alive is that he has too many diseases that can kill him and none of them can get the job done for all of the others.

besser tot als rot on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I disagree. This right here is the sweet spot that Romney should puind from now until November. The message is simple:

–Obama signed the largest “stimulus” bill in history that was supposed to create jobs here in America
–It didn’t create jobs for Americans
–Instead it doled out huge amounts of cash to Obama’s big donors and political cronies
–We can’t trust this guy with any more of our money

By itself, this should be enough to defeat Obama.

rockmom on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Nobody notice the logo on Holland’s golf shirt? It looks like the one from Pine Valley–the number one private course in the world.

Kind of interesting.

herm2416 on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

What timing for a post Cronyism—EXPOSED—by Okeefe and his gang at Project Veritas…

hillsoftx on July 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Whoa. That was awesome. Gotta spread it around.

Lost in Jersey on July 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I wonder if C-Span will file copyright on Obama’s clip, and have YouTube pull it?

kevinkristy on July 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Nobody notice the logo on Holland’s golf shirt? It looks like the one from Pine Valley–the number one private course in the world.

Kind of interesting.

herm2416 on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

It makes him look like Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice.

PastorJon on July 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

If I were king, I’d outlaw the term “government money”. It’s actually taxpayer money.

That would be like saying the money you put into a bank is the bank’s money.

rightside on July 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM

What timing for a post Cronyism—EXPOSED—by Okeefe and his gang at Project Veritas…

hillsoftx on July 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Whooaaa! That needs to be played everywhere. Awesome.

SailorMark on July 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

I’d change the ad from “Where Did Obama’s Stimulus Money Go” to something like
“Where Did Obama’s Stimulus Spend Our Money?”

That wasn’t his money.

LASue on July 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard.”

No sir, the taxpayers were the hooker. But thanks for playing.

And none of us are laughing.

kim roy on July 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I loved using Schumer’s own words in a Mitt ad…great move.

right2bright on July 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election

.

right2bright on July 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Anyone who is familiar with Chicago politics would know this is exactly how a Cook County community organizer would do business. I could tell you horror stories of corruption. Too bad he brought it to Washington as President of the United States, but what did you expect? As Farakan has always said, Obama was selected, not elected.

lea on July 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Is the guy in the pic going for the Ted Bundy look?

jaygatz33 on July 18, 2012 at 1:57 PM

THis is what happens when an economic illiterate party runs the Congress and the presidency. Complete corruption and economic destruction.

jukin3 on July 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM

And MSM will completely ignore and demand Romney to “come clean” to the American people about things they only know about because he told them in his financial disclosure forms & his release of his 2010 tax returns.

What Romney does with his own money is way, way more vital to freedom than what Obama does with OUR money. That’s the meme & they’re sticking with it.

Romney is going to have to get this info to the people on his own as I predict there will be no front page, 5000 word story on it in the Washington Post (or the Boston Globe for that matter).

Of course, we can help getting it out there.

Dark Star on July 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Nobody notice the logo on Holland’s golf shirt? It looks like the one from Pine Valley–the number one private course in the world.

Kind of interesting.

herm2416 on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I thought it was a Starship Enterprise logo.

Rational Thought on July 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

AWESOME:

Indeed, facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney’s finances and business record, the Republican’s campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston’s pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a “liar” — very little will be off-limits, from the president’s youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.

anotherJoe on July 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Neither Romney nor the GOP have any business attacking crony capitalism.

Dante on July 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The problem is that there are so many things to attack Obama on, it may be difficult to make a coherent argument. How do you simultaneously pound him on the economy, jobs, taxes, Obamacare, FF, regulation, Keystone, rule of law, crony capitalism, etc., etc.?

besser tot als rot on July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

A billion mosquito bites drives the tundra carabou stark raving mad–that’s how.

Don L on July 18, 2012 at 2:47 PM

What’s really sad is that you have to actually use flashy attention getting ads for people to pay attention.
Bcs it’s not like they give a rat’s a$$ & actually try to find the truth out about these scumbags.

Badger40 on July 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Whew!
The wife’s business is struggling and has racked up a lot of debt.

Now all I need to do is find that “somebody else who made that happen” – and get them to pick up the tab.

I kinda like what the Preezy is saying. /sarc

Hill60 on July 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM

What’s really sad is that you have to actually use flashy attention getting ads for people to pay attention.
Bcs it’s not like they give a rat’s a$$ & actually try to find the truth out about these scumbags.

Badger40 on July 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Which is both sad and perplexing…but it’s the reality of our fellow citizen voters…

jimver on July 18, 2012 at 5:02 PM