Longmont solar firm has many similarities with Solyndra
Interesting news on a story we have been following here at the bottom of the page for a while that will mainly be of interest to taxpayers, which is starting to narrow the audience.
You probably haven’t heard too much about it, as it takes place in a faraway land with the strange names of Longmont, but it is exciting, involving huge sums of money, political maneuvering and one who has been referred to as a member of “the gang of four.”
The company is Abound Solar, which, as anticipated, recently filed for federal bankruptcy protection even though it had been the recipient of $400 million in federal loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The solar facility was supposed to create 1,200 jobs. And they sound like they should be good jobs when you divide $400 million by 1,200.
Sadly, the company never did have that many employees. It briefly had 400 until March of this year, when it laid off most of those. But on the upside, it did draw down over $70 million in federal loan money.
It’s not clear how long those people were employed. However, $175,000 per job based on the $70 million seems decent. It ‘s not union-boss money, but it probably was good for Longmont.
From the beginning, many wondered how Abound received federal loan guarantees.
A congressional committee, studying the Obama administration’s $14.5 billion clean energy loan program, according to The Denver Post, found the program “wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars” and was reportedly making risky loans to companies with “junk” credit ratings.
The Post reported that Abound was one of those companies and that the company had a credit rating worse than that of the failed Solyndra solar company, the poster child for the government’s failed loan guarantee program.
As we have touched on before, one of the principal investors in Abound is a very important Obama and Democratic donor named Pat Stryker, a billionaire heiress who, along with three multi-millionaire “progressives,” through money and organization, instigated a successful bid to take the Colorado Legislature for the Democrats (thus, the gang of four). Another of the four is now a Colorado congressman from Boulder, Jared Polis.
Stryker reportedly donated $50,000 to Obama’s inauguration and, as reported by the Washington Examiner, bundled another $87,000 for that event and then another $35,000 and change to the Obama Victory Fund.
She also was reported to have given $145,000 in 2010 to something called America’s Family First Action Fund, which The Washington Post reported had spent nearly $6 million during that election cycle on behalf of only Democratic candidates.
The legislative coup organized by these four was undertaken quite well. It even made for a pretty good book called “The Blueprint,” written on how it was accomplished.
There is little doubt that if you wanted to look at a small, wealthy group that had an enormous effect on an important presidential state, you don’t need to have look much further than these folks. After all, they accomplished what the left has been accusing the Koch brothers of hoping to do for Republicans for years.
Something that would make this quite funny if it didn’t involve so many taxpayer dollars is that a year prior to Abound getting the federal loan guarantees, a Pat Stryker was entered on the White House visitors’ log but (and here’s the funny part) the White House reportedly would not confirm if that Pat Stryker was Colorado’s Pat Stryker or any other details. So that doesn’t make it seem suspicious at all.
It’s especially interesting since George Kaiser, another bundler for the Obama campaign and reportedly a financier for Solyndra, which received $535 million in loan guarantees, also visited the White House 17 times.
The Washington Examiner points out the White House said there were no discussions of the loan program. However, emails reportedly revealed there was discussion of the company with White House officials.
We may find out if the mysterious visitor, Pat Stryker, is Colorado’s own Pat Stryker. The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending has invited her to testify, along with some Energy Department types, after being notified of Abound’s bankruptcy.
Remember when the left was so concerned about Halliburton?
Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.