Emails Show White House Exerted Pressure for DOE Loan to Abound Solar

Abound logoThe claim that the many beneficiaries (like Solyndra and Fisker Automotive) of President Obama’s green energy stimulus program received their millions of taxpayer dollars based on measurable metrics rather than political favoritism has always been undermined by the circumstantial evidence, but documents obtained by Complete Colorado indicate the White House applied direct pressure to its own Department of Energy to reward (another) one of its allies.

The company that reaped the benefit was Abound Solar, which filed for bankruptcy in June. In a copy of a June 2010 email, as analysts who evaluated applications were discussing doubts about the Loveland, Colo.-based solar panel manufacturer, DOE Loan Program Executive Director Jonathan Silver informed an agency credit advisor “that the WH (White House) wants to move Abound forward.” Another message from that loan program credit adviser, James McCrea, describes an atmosphere of “transaction pressure under which we are … Read More ➡ “Emails Show White House Exerted Pressure for DOE Loan to Abound Solar”

Romney is Right About Chrysler / Jeep China Outsourcing

Fiat Chrysler logosThere is nothing like having unbiased media coverage of the all-important presidential campaign leading up to next week’s election. And the media is nothing like unbiased. We see this playing out again as Mitt Romney is now being accused of misrepresenting a story that Bloomberg.com reported on Chrysler’s potential outsourcing of Jeep manufacturing to China. A look at the original comments from the article gives evidence as to how unfair the criticism is and just how right Romney was for pointing out the likely future outsourcing of Jeep manufacturing.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Romney stated during an Ohio rally, “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.” Governor Romney was referring to the Bloomberg (hardly a right-wing organization) piece which stated, “Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler … Read More ➡ “Romney is Right About Chrysler / Jeep China Outsourcing”

Rep. Moran is Proof of Failure of Congressional Ethics Regime

James MoranRep. James Moran (D-VA), whose son is seen on an undercover video providing instructions on how to engage in vote fraud, has a long history of ethical problems. The fact that he is still in Congress is confirmation of the ineffectiveness of three bodies tasked with enforcing ethics, the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the House Ethics Committee.

Moran’s most egregious misconduct took place in the context of the PMA scandal. The PMA Group, a lobbying firm, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to lawmakers who obtained earmarks for PMA clients. The Justice Department failed to prosecute the PMA gang that included Reps. James Moran (D-VA), Peter Visclosky (D-OH), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Bill Young (R-FL). Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), the ringleader, passed away in February 2010.

The Department argued that its conviction of former PMA lobbyist and former … Read More ➡ “Rep. Moran is Proof of Failure of Congressional Ethics Regime”

VIDEO: Failed A123 Execs Ask for Bonuses

NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser was a guest on Fox Business Network’s The Willis Report on October 24. Here’s a transcript:

Tracy Byrnes: All right. Well, it was not too long ago, President Obama blasted Wall Street fat cats and their shameful bonuses.

President Barack Obama: You guys are drawing down 10 million, 20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in decades?

President Barack Obama: There will be time for them to make profits and there will be time for them to get bonuses. Now is not that time.

Tracy Byrnes: Seems to be a very different story though for one of Obama’s failed green energy bets. A handful of execs who helped drive electric car battery maker A123 Systems into the ground, now want over million worth of bonuses. … Read More ➡ “VIDEO: Failed A123 Execs Ask for Bonuses”

EXCLUSIVE: Sen. McCaskill’s Husband’s Businesses Benefitted From $20 Million in Stimulus Funds

McCaskill/Shepard photoAn analysis of public records by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has found more than $20 million in federal stimulus funds benefitting real estate projects financially tied to Joseph Shepard, husband of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press published an analysis, stating, “businesses affiliated with the husband of Senator Claire McCaskill have received almost $40 million in federal subsidies for low-income housing developments during her first five years in office…”

The NLPC analysis released today showed more than $20 million in financial benefits from the federal stimulus law to real estate projects associated with McCaskill’s husband, with all of the $20 million benefitting projects different than those identified by the Associated Press story.

Missouri Tax Credit Fund: More Than $1 Million in Annual Income For the McCaskill Household in 2009, 2010 and 2012

While the AP study focused on federal subsidies going to entities … Read More ➡ “EXCLUSIVE: Sen. McCaskill’s Husband’s Businesses Benefitted From $20 Million in Stimulus Funds”

Executives at Bankrupt A123 Now Want Bonuses

A123 logoTaxpayer stimulus waster A123 Systems has not only declared financial bankruptcy – its executives also seem to be driving toward moral bankruptcy as well.

CEO David Vieau and his lieutenants, after receiving well over $279 million in Recovery Act funds and at least $135 million from Michigan taxpayers, have run the company into the ground. Yet they have asked a bankruptcy court judge for his blessing to receive up to $4.2 million in executive and retention bonuses to see through the company’s takeover, likely by Johnson Controls.

NLPC detailed the self-serving nature of A123’s leadership in February. At the time A123 had laid off 125 employees in November at its two plants in Livonia and Romulus, Mich. Company officials said diminished production by A123’s top customer, Fisker Automotive, led to the cutbacks. A123 had expected to deliver batteries for 7,000 plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma models, but faulty wire harnesses … Read More ➡ “Executives at Bankrupt A123 Now Want Bonuses”

Albert Baldeo, Another Meeks Crony, is Arrested

Meeks Baldeo photoAlbert Baldeo, a Democratic Party leader in New York City, was arrested by the FBI this morning on corruption charges. According to the New York Times:

Mr. Baldeo is accused of using phantom donors to funnel illegal campaign contributions to his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for City Council in order to fraudulently increase the amount of matching funds provided by the city, federal prosecutors said.

The phantom donors were first publicly described in a New York Post story of October 11, 2011. The information was provided to the Post by the National Legal and Policy Center as part of our investigation into U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and his political network.

Baldeo is the third Meeks associate to be face legal action in recent days.

On October 10, Guyanese-American businessman Edul Ahmad pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud as part of a plea bargain related to a multimillion-dollar mortgage … Read More ➡ “Albert Baldeo, Another Meeks Crony, is Arrested”

Bailed-Out Chrysler to Build Jeeps in China

ObamaAmerican taxpayers should prepare themselves for another slap in the face, courtesy of the much-ballyhooed Obama auto bailouts. After spending about $85 billion to bail out Chrysler, General Motors and Ally Financial (formerly known as GMAC), taxpayers are being rewarded by Chrysler’s parent company, Fiat, announcing that it is preparing to build its Jeep brand vehicles in China. In addition, according to a Bloomberg report, Fiat may end up building all of its vehicles in China, threatening the loss of more manufacturing jobs should the decision be carried out to move Chrysler manufacturing out of America.

Italian automaker, Fiat, was gifted an ownership interest in Chrysler during the Obama-orchestrated bankruptcy process. Fiat paid nothing for the ownership stake, other than agreeing to transfer some of its technology. The Italian company later purchased an additional stake, giving it majority ownership and officially making Chrysler a foreign-owned company. It now seems that … Read More ➡ “Bailed-Out Chrysler to Build Jeeps in China”

Obama’s GM Bailout Nothing to Brag About

Obama debate photoAs the presidential election nears we continue to hear about what a great job the Obama Administration did “saving” General Motors. The claims are that millions of jobs were saved and Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. A review of the facts reveals that the auto bailout process that cost taxpayers billions of dollars is hardly anything to brag about.

When President Obama says he “saved” GM, what he means is that his administration guided a bankruptcy process for the company, funded with taxpayer dollars. The repeated statements by Obama that Romney would have let the company go bankrupt are deceptive. Let’s be clear, GM DID go bankrupt.

The bankruptcy process for GM was mainly funded by American taxpayers. President Obama formed the Auto Task Force and chose an allegedly corrupt hedge fund guy in Steve Rattner to run the show. Bankruptcy experts and Wall Street types were … Read More ➡ “Obama’s GM Bailout Nothing to Brag About”

Rahall Tax Exemption Draws Scrutiny

Rahall photooriginally posted on Washington Free Beacon by CJ Ciaramella:

A growing number of watchdog groups are calling for an investigation into alleged ethics violations by Rep. Nick Rahall (D., W. Va.) following a report that he obtained a tax deduction by claiming Washington, D.C., as his primary residence.

Last week the Washington Times reported Rahall applied for and received a homestead tax deduction for his D.C. townhouse, saving him $573 on his annual D.C. property tax bill.

Rahall, whose net worth is between nearly $2 million to $3 million according to financial disclosure reports, also enjoys a reduced owner-occupied tax rate on his West Virginia home, which cut his state property tax bill in 2012 by $2,874, according to records obtained by the Washington Times.

“Any member taking a D.C. homestead deduction is pulling a fast one,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “They just … Read More ➡ “Rahall Tax Exemption Draws Scrutiny”