Obama’s Green Robber Barons
by Michelle Malkin
Had enough of fat cat Barack Obama, his jet-setting wife and his multi-millionaire Chicago consigliere/real-estate mogul Valerie Jarrett attacking the “rich”? Well, brace yourselves. You’ll be hearing much more from the White House about the “wealthy few” who aren’t paying their “fair share” as Obama’s re-election campaign doubles down on class-war demagoguery.
As usual, there’s always a set of immunity charms for the privileged friends and family of the ruling class. When it comes to all the Green Robber Barons who’ve reaped an obscenely unfair share of billions of tax dollars from the Obama administration, the envy trumpeteers will be quieter than a nest of mute church mice.
Obama’s State of the Union address defiantly pitched a new round of clean energy spending orgies to help the “middle class.” But how have the serial bankruptcies and near-bankruptcies of several federally subsidized solar companies — all under Obama’s watch — helped anyone but an upper-crust elite of eco-crats and their lobbyists and consultants?
Bankrupt Solyndra, billionaire George Kaiser. In the wake of the half-billion-dollar Solyndra stimulus bust, company officials revealed plans to hand out hefty bonuses totaling $500,000. Months before the politically connected solar energy manufacturer went belly up, it was doling out bonus payments of between $40,000 and $60,000 to several executives. Last week, a local CBS News crew caught employees at the Silicon Valley headquarters trashing solar panel glass tubes worth an estimated $10 million.
The now-abandoned Taj Mahal complex cost ordinary Americans more than $733 million. But billionaire Democratic donor and frequent White House guest George Kaiser, whose nonprofit foundation was Solyndra’s biggest investor, is still sitting pretty. He and the other private investors of Solyndra will recoup their losses ahead of taxpayers. And while they blast their GOP opponents, double-standard Democrats will remain AWOL on the glaring tax-avoidance strategies of the wealthy Kaiser Family Foundation.
Bankrupt Beacon Power, fat Democratic coffers. This green energy storage plant filed for bankruptcy last fall after a $43 million injection of Obama Department of Energy loan guarantees. Federal election record filings show that CEO William Capp contributed to the 2008 Obama campaign, as well as several left-wing New England Democratic candidates. Beacon Power lobbyist Steve Wolfe was a former aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Beacon sought bankruptcy shelter two days after the White House responded to fiscal watchdogs’ demands for a review of the DOE’s shoddy loan monitoring programs.
Bankrupt SpectraWatt, red-faced Goldman Sachs. A solar cell company based in New York, SpectraWatt went belly up last August despite a half-million-dollar federal stimulus boost and lucrative backing from politically connected Goldman Sachs — whose ties reach deep into the Obama Treasury Department, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, White House National Economic Council and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. itself. The eco-failure was dumped in a fire sale for less than $5 million.
Teetering Nevada Geothermal, cheerleading Harry Reid. Despite $150 million in federal DOE and Treasury Department subsidies — not to mention personal lobbying by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — this alternative energy project is on the brink of failure. A Deloitte and Touche audit grimly concludes that the company “has incurred net losses over the past several years, has an accumulated deficit of $44.0 million and an anticipated inability to retire its long-term liabilities.” According to CBS News, the company’s latest SEC filings warn of multiple defaults.
My scouring of White House visitor logs shows nine visits from another Green Robber Baron, Illinois-based Exelon’s CEO John Rowe, who met with the president and former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel multiple times. As Forbes magazine reported: The clean energy company “has very deep ties to the Obama Administration. Frank M. Clark, who runs ComEd, helped advise Obama before he ran for president and is one of Obama’s largest fundraisers. Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, worked as a consultant to Exelon. Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, helped create Exelon” — where he raked in more than $16 million over two years.
Remember: “Fairness” is in the eye of the wealth redistributors.