NLPC “blows the whistle” on government officials and interest groups engaged in questionable activities. NLPC has filed formal Complaints with a variety of authorities and regulators, including the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Congressional Ethics Committees.
NLPC supports government integrity in two additional ways: by promoting the First Amendment as the basis for campaign finance reform, and by promoting use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The little-reported bankruptcy of a relatively small electric vehicle battery manufacturer last month illustrates the many problems with President Obama’s green energy stimulus program, and why the more appropriate location for the ramblin’, gamblin’ White House might be Las Vegas.
This smaller (compared to other Recovery Act beneficiaries) example is ReVolt Technology, which relocated from Switzerland to Oregon to take advantage of a $5 million Recovery Act grant from the Department of Energy in order to develop and mass-produce a “zinc-air” vehicle battery. Its technology was developed in Norway where the company was backed since 2004 by Viking Venture Management. According to the Portland Business Journal, ReVolt believed it could “deliver twice the energy of conventional rechargeable battery technologies, such as lithium-ion.”
Federal money wasn’t the only attraction. The company also received $5 million in city and state loans, as well as business energy tax credits. Thus we … Read More ➡
By any number of indicators, the nation’s housing market is in recovery. But that may be the last thing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) wants to hear right now. Last Friday, the mortgage insurance agency, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced the results of an independent annual audit projecting that reserves of FHA’s main fund, as of September 30, were $16.3 billion less than its obligations for the current operating year. The estimate, far more grim than what had been forecast only months earlier, has renewed debate in Washington and elsewhere as to the need for a special infusion of funds – i.e., a bailout. It would be the first in the agency’s 75-plus years. What should be debated is whether FHA even should exist as a government entity or at the very least whether it should operate on the scale that it has during … Read More ➡
A123 as a whole, or in pieces, is going to be sold to the court-approved buyer(s). That is likely to be either Johnson Controls, which is the lead bidder for the company’s automotive business, or Wanxiang Group, which wants to buy the whole company. A123 had an agreement to transfer up to 80 percent of the company’s ownership to the China-based automotive parts manufacturer over the summer, but its bankruptcy filing on Oct. 16 – with Johnson Controls as the new automotive assets purchaser – nullified its agreement with Wanxiang.
Advanced Equities, Inc. had recently been reprimanded by the Securities and Exchange Commission and by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for misleading investors and for breach of contract with its brokers. Fortune cited sources that said AEI brokers were told last week that Monday would be their last day. Crain’s Chicago Business confirmed that AEI was shutting down its broker-dealer business following its regulatory troubles, which “made it difficult to run the business.”
President Obama’s penchant for flushing taxpayer money down the green energy toilet lives at least another four years, and his crony supporters continue to benefit.
The latest example is the pending sell-off of assets by bankrupt A123 Systems, which was awarded upward of $279 million in stimulus funds, plus other assorted government grants and contracts. The top executives who presided over its failure – and supported the president’s cap-and-tax initiatives early in his term – are likely to receive millions of dollars in bonuses, thanks to their scheming earlier this year and a bankruptcy court judge.
Associated Press reported that that judge, Kevin Carey, ruled on Thursday that the electric vehicle battery maker can proceed with the bankruptcy process after a break-up fee – as part of a deal for Johnson Controls to buy its automotive assets – was lowered. Had a deal not been consummated, Johnson could … Read More ➡
Eric Lipton of the New York Times had a round up on Friday of the election-day fortunes of members of Congress in ethics trouble. According to the article:
In races around the country, an unusually large number of lawmakers facing charges of wrongdoing were unceremoniously ousted from their jobs on Tuesday – which is quite rare, because more than 90 percent of the incumbents seeking re-election to Congress typically return for another term.
Perhaps Democrats and Republicans can agree that this is good news. The biggest example was Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), who failed in her attempt to move up to the Senate, even though Obama carried Nevada. She was defeated by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who was already in the Senate after have been appointed after John Ensign resigned.
It is being suggested that President Obama’s reelection was at least in part helped by the auto industry bailouts, or more accurately, the portrayal of the bailouts by the president and the media. It is therefore important to surmise that the precedent setting auto bankruptcy proceedings saw billions of taxpayer dollars used to not only help the industry, but to fund the reelection of the sitting president that orchestrated the process.
The greatest travesty of the 2012 election campaign may have been that the auto bailouts were never properly debated. The main point should not have been whether or not the government should have been involved in helping the industry, but whether the process was carried out in the fairest manner with the least amount of taxpayer dollars put at risk. Even though the auto bailouts were unpopular with most Americans, the Romney team seemed to want to avoid … Read More ➡
Now that the election season is coming to an end, we may get a clearer picture in the near future as to just how “healthy” the auto industry really is. Another car company has just filed for bankruptcy as American Suzuki announced that it is filing for chapter 11 protection and will no longer be selling vehicles in America.
I’m sure few tears will be shed for American Suzuki and the workers at American Suzuki car dealerships that will lose their jobs. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese-owned Suzuki and the vehicles are built outside of America.
The more important takeaway from the bankruptcy filing is that the auto industry remains as competitive as ever, and those automakers that are not at the top of their game (or receive billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat) will have trouble being profitable in the tough environment; despite the … Read More ➡
NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was a guest Wednesday night on Fox Business Network’s Willis Report. Here’s a transcript:
Gerri Willis: Tonight growing concerns that many US manufacturing jobs are at stake. Take a look at this Romney campaign ad slamming President Obama.
Romney Ad: Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.
Gerri Willis: And the left came out swinging today claiming that the ad is inaccurate including Joe Biden who today called it quote flagrantly dishonest. But my next guest says Romney has it right. Here to explain is Mark Modica, Associate Fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center. Great to have you back Mark.