In an unprecedented action from a sitting president, President Obama lurched straight out of the campaign gate a few weeks ago with a barrage of negative ads against Mitt Romney. At every opportunity, he headbutts private equity/venture capitalists and Romney’s 80% success rate at Bain Capital. Obama says this is his reelection focus. (Don’t look America… Obama raised funds from a private equity group he previously attacked.) The once-resounding Obama message of hope and change isn’t even whispered anymore.
You know it’s bad when even left-leaning ‘Face the Nation’s’ Bob Schieffer notices Obama’s negativity.
Romney’s new web ad, released today, shows he’s noticed, too. It targets the real cause of Obama’s headaches - his borrow-and-tax policies which have lead to… nowhere: Solyndra, First Solar, ECOtality, and SunPower.
The facts, Ma’am:
► The Obama Administration Loaned Over Half A Billion Dollars To Solyndra – Which Later Went Bankrupt And Laid Off 1,100 Employees.
“In a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to create green jobs, solar-cell maker Solyndra announced Wednesday that it will close its remaining Fremont factory, layoff its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy. The news marked an abrupt end for a company once considered among the most innovative in a fast-changing industry. The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers. Solyndra was the first company to win one of the guarantees, receiving $535 million in 2009 to build its second factory in Fremont less than a mile from the company’s original plant.” (David R. Baker and Carolyn Said, “Solyndra Closes Fremont Plant - Stimulus Hopes Dim,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/11)
► The Obama Administration Provided More Than $3 Billion In Loan Guarantees That Benefitted First Solar – A Company That Recently Announced Layoffs And Hit Record Lows In Stock Value.
“First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company ‘fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30 percent of its workforce.’” (Marc A. Thiessen, “Forget Bain — Obama’s Public-Equity Record Is The Real Scandal,” The Washington Post, 5/24/12)
► After Receiving Approximately $126 Million In Taxpayer Money, ECOtality Has “Incurred More Than $45 Million In Losses.”
The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story. According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government, ‘We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.’” (Marc A. Thiessen, “Forget Bain — Obama’s Public-Equity Record Is The Real Scandal,” The Washington Post, 5/24/12)
ECOtality Is Currently “Under Investigation For Insider Trading.” “Worse, according to CBS News the company is ‘under investigation for insider trading,’ and Karner has been subpoenaed ‘for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.’” (Marc A. Thiessen, “Forget Bain — Obama’s Public-Equity Record Is The Real Scandal,” The Washington Post, 5/24/12)
► “A Company Called SunPower Got A $1.2 Billion Loan Guarantee From The Obama Administration…”
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth.” (Marc A. Thiessen, “Forget Bain — Obama’s Public-Equity Record Is The Real Scandal,” The Washington Post, 5/24/12)
► In 2011, SunPower Lost More Than Half A Billion Dollars And Announced Layoffs.
“Now, San Jose’s SunPower, another solar panel maker, has hit rough waters — a $370 million quarterly loss — which will trigger layoffs and the exit of two top executives. SunPower CEO [Werner] thinks a turn-around won’t happen overnight. ‘We see this as a year to maybe two years, and then we see significant demand, a resumption in significant demand growth,’ Werner said. But the slowdown in sales and a flood of low-cost panels coming in from China have extended SunPower’s losses this year past a half-billion dollars.” (David Louie, “CA’s Solar Industry Continues To Show Signs Of Distress,” KGO-TV [San Francisco, CA], 11/4/11)
► Does Fisker ring a bell? (updated)
Does the Fisker investment seem like a terrible investment? Absolutely. Is this a clear cut case of “crony capitalism” as Romney says it is? Let’s investigate.
Read about it here.
► “$16.4 Billion Of The $20.5 Billion In Loans Granted As Of Sept. 15 Went To Companies Either Run By Or Primarily Owned By Obama Financial Backers.”
“In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers-individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” (Peter Schweizer, “Obama Campaign Backers And Bundlers Rewarded With Green Grants And Loans,” Newsweek, 11/12/11)
► The Energy Department’s Inspector General Found That Contracts Were Steered To “Friends And Family.”
“The Department of Energy’s inspector general, Gregory Friedman, who was not a political appointee, chastised the alternative-energy loan and grant programs for their absence of ‘sufficient transparency and accountability.’ He has testified that contracts have been steered to ‘friends and family.’” (Peter Schweizer, “Obama Campaign Backers And Bundlers Rewarded With Green Grants And Loans,” Newsweek, 11/12/11)
See the new ad from American Crossroads below the fold.