“Independent” watchdog on energy loans turns into big Obama donor

posted at 8:41 am on August 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Well, well, well … what a coinky-dink.  The man who got picked to review more than $23 billion in Department of Energy loans and gave them a clean bill of health — without reviewing loans to already-defunct Solyndra and Beacon Power — waited a whole two weeks to start donating to Barack Obama’s re-election effort (via Drudge):

A veteran Wall Street executive who performed an independent review that exonerated the Obama administration’s program of loans to energy companies contributed $52,500 to re-elect President Barack Obama in the months since completing his work, according to an Associated Press review of campaign records. The executive defended the integrity of his conclusions and said he decided to donate to Obama after his work was finished.

The campaign contributions to Obama started just weeks after Herbert M. Allison Jr., in congressional testimony in March, minimized concerns that the Energy Department was at high risk in more than $23 billion in federal loans awarded to green energy firms. Two weeks later, Allison began giving to the Obama campaign. His contributions to Obama and the Democratic National Committee totaled $52,500 by last month. Allison previously was the former head of the government’s mass purchase of toxic Wall Street assets.

Allison did not make any Obama donations during his four-month review of Energy Department loans, and he has a long history of working with and giving money to both political parties. However, Republican Party officials and congressional critics of the energy loans said Allison’s donations to Obama raise doubts about his objectivity and highlight his decision not to assess multimillion-dollar loans to two companies that later went into bankruptcy – the troubled Solyndra solar panel company and Beacon Power, an energy storage firm.

Allison’s report, completed in February and touted by the White House, acknowledged that the Energy Department could lose as much as $3 billion in loans, but it concluded that was far less than the $10 billion set aside by Congress for high-risk companies. The review did not assess the two bankrupt firms because those loans were no longer current. Allison told Congress that “DOE has negotiated protections in the loan agreements that enable it to cut off further funding and to demand more credit protection if projects do not meet targets.” He also urged the Energy Department to toughen its oversight.

How much of a scandal is this?  It’s not as bad as it would have been if Allison had been contributing heavily to Obama before getting the appointment, obviously.  At worst, this looks like a quid pro quo for getting the job, but that’s a pretty ridiculous take, given that Allison hardly needs the work.  But the two-week difference still raises a lot of questions about when Allison stopped being an independent reviewer and started being a fan.  Allison addressed this by saying that his contacts with the Obama administration impressed him:

Allison said he made his decision to support Obama after he saw “his administration in action and decided that I believe broadly in the things he’s trying to accomplish.”

Fine and dandy; it’s Allison’s money, and he can do with it what he wants, within the law, of course.  However, the question arises whether he was so impressed during his “independent” review that he became an advocate rather than an analyst.  The curious decision not to probe the Solyndra and Beacon Power loans when both were the biggest examples of Obama administration mismanagement — and when Solyndra’s loan had ties to another big Obama donor, George Kaiser — raises that question even further.  Having decided that he liked the cut of Obama’s jib so much that he wanted to fork over $52,000, did Allison temper his report to boost the object of his new political affections?  Adding to that impression, the Associated Press reports that Allison had never donated more than $2,000 to anyone before now.

Clearly, we need an independent review of DoE green-tech loans to see what Allison’s “independent” review may have missed or overlooked.  We’re obviously not going to get that from this administration.


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…S U R P R I S E…!!!

KOOLAID2 on August 23, 2012 at 8:44 AM

…the institutional media will have this all put together with all the other BS in 5…4…3…2…

KOOLAID2 on August 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Add 1 more to the already lengthy list of crooks.

gsherin on August 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM

how “unexpected”

thedevilinside on August 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Clearly, we need an independent review of DoE green-tech loans to see what Allison’s “independent” review may have missed or overlooked. We’re obviously not going to get that from this administration.

…what?…no committee’s?

KOOLAID2 on August 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Two weeks later, Allison began giving to the Obama campaign. His contributions to Obama and the Democratic National Committee totaled $52,500 by last month.

Allison’s report, completed in February and touted by the White House, acknowledged that the Energy Department could lose as much as $3 billion in loans, but it concluded that was far less than the $10 billion set aside by Congress for high-risk companies.

How much of a scandal is this? It’s not as bad as it would have been if Allison had been contributing heavily to Obama before getting the appointment, obviously. At worst, this looks like a quid pro quo for getting the job, but that’s a pretty ridiculous take, given that Allison hardly needs the work.

Hm. Someone go get Egg and ask him if $3 billion minus $52,500 would be a good deal if it had to be spread out among friends.

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Allison did not make any Obama donations during his four-month review of Energy Department loans

Oh well gee! What an honorable man to refrain from donating to Obama until 2 weeks after he was done exonerating him.

Doughboy on August 23, 2012 at 8:49 AM

At worst, this looks like a quid pro quo for getting the job, but that’s a pretty ridiculous take, given that Allison hardly needs the work.

Sometimes people take a job not because they need the work, but because it will look good on a resume.

Mitoch55 on August 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

pure coincidence that next term if BAM! gets back in he’ll get to head a green fraud too…

harlekwin15 on August 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Unemployment up by 4,000. Are the rat-eared bastard and his cronies ever going to held to account?

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Ed, you are far to kind.

Having decided that he liked the cut of Obama’s job so much that he wanted to fork over $52,000, did Allison temper his report to boost the object of his new political affections? Adding to that impression, the Associated Press reports that Allison had never donated more than $2,000 to anyone before now.

Four years of a lousy economy results in a more than ten-fold increase in campaign donations?

How much was he paid to be an “independent” wall-paperer watchdog?

rbj on August 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM

At worst, this looks like a quid pro quo for getting the job, but that’s a pretty ridiculous take, given that Allison hardly needs the work.

Take tax payer money and pay a friend to produce propaganda for the Regime, and then the friend kicks the money back to the Regime’s campaign. It’s a win-win.

Fund raising Chicago style with free propaganda to boot.

What I don’t see here is the real payoff to Allison. that probably lies elsewhere in the form of waivers, contracts or preferential treatment to a firm he’s invested in or some such thing.

forest on August 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM

DOJ sues Gallup polling firm

More Øbama/Holder thuggery?

petefrt on August 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

acknowledged that the Energy Department could lose as much as $3 billion in loans, but it concluded that was far less than the $10 billion set aside by Congress for high-risk companies.

WTF !!!! 10 BILLION as an acceptable loss !
That OUR money !

Jabberwock on August 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I’m so sick of these crooks.

AZCoyote on August 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Do we exist in an alternate universe where these things don’t matter?

itsspideyman on August 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

And before TARP he was at Fannie Mae.

This is as trustworthy as the DOJ investigating Jon Corzine and finding nothing illegal even though 1 billion in customer money is just gone. This administration is corrupt.

magicbeans on August 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I believe broadly in the things he’s trying to accomplish.”

Of course, a professional rent seeking piece of garbage (proponent of government bailing out the rich who made stupid decisions) supports Obama.

Capitalism can usually brush aside avowed Marxists. It’s the truly evil, such as Herbert M. Allison Jr., that puts capitalism in trouble.

MNHawk on August 23, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I never understand how one donates $52,000+ to a campaign. The limit is $2,500 if you can believe this link

How does this work ?

williampeck1958 on August 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Do we exist in an alternate universe where these things don’t matter?

itsspideyman on August 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

It’s this or winking out of existence, dude.

Sheesh. Metaphysics. :)

Axe on August 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

‘There is a cancer growing on the presidency.’

DaveDief on August 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Do we exist in an alternate universe where these things don’t matter?

itsspideyman on August 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I keep looking for the bearded Spock.

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

So he didn’t do a review.

docflash on August 23, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Bless his heart

SmallGovtGuy on August 23, 2012 at 9:12 AM

bayam?????

Del Dolemonte on August 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

O/T but NYT/Quin poll dump this morning has:

obama 49 46 in Fla with a +6 Dem sample
Obama 50 44 in Ohio with a +8 Dem sample
Obama 49 47 in Wisconsin with a +4 Dem sample

so in my mind, Romney is likely ahead in all 3.

This is good news!

joepub on August 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

both were the biggest examples of Obama administration mismanagement

No they weren’t… Allison said so.

LtGenRob on August 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

pure coincidence that next term if BAM! gets back in he’ll get to head a green fraud too…

harlekwin15 on August 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

No, a lucrative Ambassadorship. To find fraud, follow the money; in Washington, follow them to work.

TulsAmerican on August 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I must have missed the part about how much he got paid for his supposed independent review.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

CJ on August 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Do we exist in an alternate universe where these things don’t matter?

itsspideyman on August 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

And it was your billions flagrantly mismanaged and embezzled in Iraq… yet that story gets ignored on HA.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/07/17/9701/us-official-says-government-wasted-6-8-billion-iraq-reconstruction

WTF !!!! 10 BILLION as an acceptable loss !
That OUR money !

Jabberwock on August 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

But there’s a far bigger story here that’s repeatedly overlooked as the reason behind the decisions to support Solyndra as part of a proxy battle between the US and Chinese governments. From an earlier thread:

Sadly the truth is that Solyndra was a perfect storm of bad conditions. As much as we might like to use it to batter Obama poor decision making skills there genuinely was more to it than that.

The truth is, that Solyndra made a good product, but, that product competed against a competitor that could manipulate it’s currency, had control of the worlds rare earth metals, was labor subsidies and government underwritten.

The Obama Administration was unwilling to take the steps necessary to protect their investment in Solyndra, and the Chinese were willing to do whatever it took to eliminate Solyndra as a competitor.

bayam on August 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Corruption on this level knows no limits. If you are an Obama donor, you are a crook. Its the Chicago thug’s way of doing business. Its all Obama knows.

volsense on August 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Mr. Allison is so honest and trustworthy that they gave him the job before he made his campaign contribution.

ss396 on August 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Allison previously was the former head of the government’s mass purchase of toxic Wall Street assets.

Well I guess he thought that Soylandra and Beacon Power looked swell in comparison! I wonder what he is after? Why do “we” have $10 billion set aside for high risk loans, why are “we” in the banking business. Offer rewards for known success, not Skittle promises.

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Nothing to see here! Move along!

Vntnrse on August 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM

The regime must know something about Mr. Allison that he doesn’t want made public or else is illegal and he was impressed by the arm twisting he got. How can these people live with themselves. I’m not going to say bless his heart because he’s already sold his soul.

Kissmygrits on August 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Even the NYTimes is writing about Obama being in bed with Big Energy:

…Exelon’s top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. John W. Rogers Jr., a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers, is an Exelon board member. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime political strategist, once worked as an Exelon consultant, and Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, helped create the company through a corporate merger in 2000 while working as an investment banker…

The administration’s tightening of clean air rules was a particular boon, since it took aim at Exelon’s main competitors — coal-burning power plants in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions. In 2010, Exelon estimated it would earn an extra $400 million annually because the regulations would force dozens of coal-burning plants to close…

I know, the NYTimes committing a random act of journolism.

Fallon on August 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM

I see no reason for the United States to ever criticize countries like China, whose corruption and lack of transparency is just slightly less than ours.

rickyricardo on August 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM

JournoList or journalism, lol, It’s Thursday.

Fallon on August 23, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Quid pro quo. During his review of the Marxicrats Bribe Kickback Club he determined that hose ho pay into the crime machine supporting Obama get their ‘investment’ paid back (with money stolen / diverted from public coffers) by a factor of at least tenfold, and decided he needed to get him some of that. And he wasted no time in doing so. Plainly he expects to benefit from his support, by netting such a handout in the near future, or by receiving a czar posting in a second Obama administration.

rayra on August 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Let’s see former President and CEO of Fannie Mae, check. Oversaw TARP to purchase assets from financial instituions. Most likely hand picked by the administration. Then contributes 50 grand to obummer. This stinks to high heaven.

jake49 on August 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Can you imagine after watch Obama for the last 3+ years and looking at those loans, now he wants to donate more money than he has in his life? Doesn’t compute. Cabinet position?

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Ok ok I got it.Since he currently is a member of several boards and advisory councils including Time Warner Inc., Yale School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business. It could be a multi-level quid pro quo. He is lobbying for acces to the whitehouse on behalf of those who have hired him currently. In return obummer, or Jarrett, called in a favor to get a clean bill of health from him, and, he must donate the 50 grand. Now he can get what his clients are asking for from the whitehouse. Simple.

jake49 on August 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The Obama Administration was unwilling to take the steps necessary to protect their investment in Solyndra, and the Chinese were willing to do whatever it took to eliminate Solyndra as a competitor.

bayam on August 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM

So, knowing that, the o’thief administration decided not to take the Chinese to task and make them comply with our laws – but chose instead to gift a half-billion dollar “loan” to an odumbo bundler. A loan that enriches the bundler – and is repaid by the taxpayers.

And you leap forward to defend these thieves! You must be really hoping that d’ohbama has a slot for a new lickspittle on his staff. You certainly are qualified.

Solaratov on August 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Hey! Barry’s hurting for campaign money! They “can’t wait”!

GarandFan on August 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Clearly, we need an independent review of DoE green-tech loans to see what Allison’s “independent” review may have missed or overlooked. We’re obviously not going to get that from this administration.

More clearly, we need to STOP having a DOE green-tech loan program. Along with all the other useless, money-grubbing subsidies.

Bitter Clinger on August 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The MOST ethical administration EVAH!!!!

(Do I really need to add the sarc tag?)

Gunlock Bill on August 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

decided to donate to Obama after his work was finished.

Right, because donating before or during his phony investigation would look bad, right? So he thought “Man, I’m gonna give big bucks to this guy as soon as this whitewash is done.”

mr.blacksheep on August 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Hey… what do you know I just received my families set of The Obama administrations government issued “Rose Colored Glasses” made by Google…. we are all now expected to wear them 24-7 so we can fully visualize the transformation of America through the altered state of an Obamabot.

Man, they truly care… I’m touched. Oh, and they have a special feature(s) that filters out any and all detection in documentation that might be shown to you that might indicate fraud, theft, corruption, crony capitalism, political bigotry directly associated to the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the uber leftist media water boys and industries guaranteed “loans” given preferential treatment as long as they in turn guarantee to donate to the Democrat party and it’s multitude of union anti-private sector groups.

Evil is as Evil does…. we know the enemy for he has not hidden his agenda… we are weak and stupid…. and lazy, we all to some degree, have sat back and allowed ourselves to be snared… too afraid to speak out, in some cases not able to speak out for fear of losing our jobs. Freedom lost and squandered. Our fore fathers would think we have lost our minds entirely that we allow this type of corruption and manipulation of the governments power over the people it is charged to protect. TRILLIONS… billions, gazillions, just put your glasses on…poof, pretty!

Herbert M. Allison Jr……. another cog in a wheel of destruction.

ActinUpinTexas on August 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Gunlock Bill on August 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Nope!

Vntnrse on August 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Just another crony to the crony-in-chief.

Another Drew on August 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

“Nothing to see here, move along now!”

Another Drew on August 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Accusing him of malfeasance just because he donated seems very wrong to me. Presumably lots of public employees support Mr Obama and hand over cash and although we might not like it, or even understand why, Mr Obama is still popular.

If Mr Allison’s work is examined and found to be shoddy or obviously biased then his donation becomes a matter of public interest and his motives subject to scrutiny, but unless and until that happens he shouldn’t be accused of improper conduct just because he donated.

YiZhangZhe on August 23, 2012 at 5:38 PM