|End to Corrupt Revolving-door Abuse in Government?||| Print ||
Senator Rand Paul Out to Put an End to Corrupt Revolving-door Abuse in Government
The son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, a United States Senator from the state of Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul, has an outstanding amendment which will bar revolving-door corruption in federal loans; a practice which has been rampant during the Obama administration. The Paul Amendment which will be attached to the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act” would bring an end to the revolving door between federal employees and companies lobbying for federal funding of loans.
Senator Rand Paul had this to say on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding his legislation: “This will allow this bill to apply to the Administration, and I don't believe people who are multimillionaires and billionaires should use the apparatus of government as was used in the loans that were given to Solyndra by someone who is profiting off of their relationship and ties to the President, profiting off of people who used to work for these companies now, who are now employed in the administration and using these connections to get taxpayer money to go to private individuals.”
In the press release by Senator Paul’s office Tuesday, some outrageous revolving-door abuses are listed along with examples of the Obama Administration’s crony capitalism. The rest of Senator Paul’s press release is directly below:
Sen. Paul Amendment Bars Revolving-Door Corruption in Federal Loans
Below is transcript of his speech and background information regarding the amendment.
These amendments are recognizing what the authors of these bills have been discussing, that people should not profit off of their involvement in government. They shouldn't profit off of special relationships. They shouldn't profit off of special knowledge they gain in the function of serving the people.
Currently there are some large donors that have been giving to this Administration who have profited enormously and disproportionately.
This will allow this bill to apply to the Administration, and I don't believe people who are multimillionaires and billionaires should use the apparatus of government as was used in the loans that were given to Solyndra by someone who is profiting off of their relationship and ties to the President, profiting off of people who used to work for these companies now, who are now employed in the administration and using these connections to get taxpayer money to go to private individuals.
This is wrong and this should stop. I think this bill is a great vehicle for discussing how people in government are abusing their roles in government to make more money at the expense of the taxpayer.
And I think it should end.
Below are a few examples of this corruption and its proximity to the current Administration.
Before Solyndra’s bankruptcy in September 2011, the Department of Energy awarded them a highly-favorable $528 million loan, and the Department of Energy’s loan advisor promised to recuse himself because his own wife’s law firm represented Solyndra then, ultimately, refused to recuse himself and actually argued for the loan. As a result, a company doomed to failure which had based itself on a flawed business model nonetheless received a $528 million loan courtesy of American taxpayers—money the taxpayers will never get back.
Steve Spinner, Dept. of Energy Small Business Loan Guarantee Advisor
$528 Million Loan Guarantee, Solyndra
· “…Spinner was actively involved in a $528 million federal loan for Solyndra Inc., despite pledging to recuse himself because his wife's law firm represented the company.” (“Solyndra Loan Figure Raises $500k For Obama,” The Associated Press, 10/14/11)
· “Steve Spinner, who helped monitor the Energy Department's issuance of $25 billion in government loan guarantees to renewable energy projects, was one of Obama's top fundraisers in 2008 and is raising money for the president's 2012 reelection campaign… ‘Steve Spinner acted as a liaison between the Recovery Act Office and the loan programs office,’ Energy Department Spokesman Damien Lavera said in a statement Friday.” ("Obama fundraiser linked to loan program that aided Solyndra," Los Angeles Times , 9/16/11)
· “‘How hard is this? What is he waiting for?’ wrote Steven J. Spinner, a high-tech consultant and energy investor who raised at least $500,000 for the candidate before being appointed to a key job helping oversee the energy loan guarantee program. 'I have OVP [the Office of the Vice President] and WH [the White House] breathing down my neck on this.'” (“Obama Fundraiser Pushed Solyndra Deal From Inside,” ABC News, 10/7/11)
Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to The President
$737 Million Loan, Solar Reserve
· “…the entire project hinged on help from the energy department, still reeling from the collapse of another solar company, Solyndra. Last week Solar Reserve received final approval for a $737 million federal loan guarantee to finish this project. That's $200 million more than Solyndra received before it filed for bankruptcy.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 10/8/11)
· “Solar Reserve, which got a $737 million loan, and whose major investor, Michael Froman, was a deputy assistant to the president. Froman bundled up to $500,000 for the president's 2008 campaign.” (“Solyndra Case Reveals Gateway Between Administration Loans, Obama Allies,” Fox News, 11/16/11)
BrightSource Energy’s former chairman was John Bryson, who is now Secretary of Commerce. The company was teetering on the brink of failure when in April 2011 the Department of Energy stepped in and offered them a $1.6 billion loan guarantee. The Department of Energy advisor on that case had joined the government from VantagePoint Partners, which was itself a major stakeholder in BrightSource.
John Bryson, Commerce Secretary & Sanjay Wagle, Dept. Of Energy Renewable Energy Grants Advisor
$1.6 Billion Loan Guarantee, BrightSource Energy
· “Bryson was… chairman of BrightSource Energy Inc., an Oakland, California-based developer of solar-power plants. Backed by investors including Morgan Stanley and Google Inc. and a $1.6 billion U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee, BrightSource is seeking to prove a technology it calls the power tower.” (“Bryson Sworn In As Commerce Secretary To Tackle Trade, Jobs,” Bloomberg, 10/21/11)
· “BrightSource Energy, the California solar power plant builder, largely backed by President John F. Kennedy's nephew, Robert Kennedy Jr., was granted a [1.6] billion dollar bailout through a loan guarantee issued by a former employee-turned Department of Energy official… Sanjay Wagle was a principle in Kennedy's VantagePoint Partners - the major stake holder in BrightSource. Wagle was installed at the Department of Energy as an advisor on energy grants upon Obama's election to the White House.” (“Another Solyndra?,” WNWO NBC Ohio, 11/17/11)
· “In 2010, when the DOE granted the 7-figure bailout, BrightSource was admittedly already on shakey ground financially with $1.8 billion of debt.”(“Another Solyndra?,” WNWO NBC Ohio, 11/17/11)
Steve Westly, a member of the Secretary of Energy’s advisory board, an Obama campaign bundler and a major investor in Tesla Motors boasted of his proximity to the Administration’s interest in green energy. Tesla received a significant Energy Department loan in 2009, while Westly remains a shareholder in the company.
Steve Westly, Secretary Of Energy’s Advisory Board Member
$465 Million Loan, Tesla Motors
· “When the White House announced the federal government would loan $465 million to Tesla, a California start-up company… represented a lucrative opportunity for Steve Westly, a major investor in the car company who had raised more than $500,000 for the president's campaign.” (“Did Obama Administration Play Favorites With Energy Loans?” ABC News, 3/30/11)
· “In winning the 2009 energy department loan,Tesla landed in rare company — just 5 of 130 applicants for the loan pool have received funding, records obtained by The Center show.” (“Obama Fundraiser Got Clean Energy Aid, Then Perch To Advise Energy Secretary,” The Center For Public Integrity’s Iwatch News, 3/30/11)
· “In 2010, the White House tapped Westly for a seat on a special energy advisory panel that gives him regular access to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Westly boasts on his website that his firm is ‘uniquely positioned’ to take advantage of the Obama administration's interest in green energy.” (“Did Obama Administration Play Favorites With Energy Loans?” ABC News, 3/30/11)
· “…the Obama administration announced plans to stimulate sales of electric cars by offering consumers a $7,500 federal rebate at the dealer level. Stock in Tesla Motors, which went public last year, rose 6 percent with the news. Westly… personally remains a shareholder.” (“Did Obama Administration Play Favorites With Energy Loans?” ABC News, 3/30/11)
GRANITE RELIABLE WIND GENERATION
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy Ann DeParle is also the majority owner of a New Hampshire wind farm – a farm that has yet to be proven as effective, and for which received an Energy Department loan worth nearly $170 million.
Nancy Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief Of Staff
$135 Million Loan Guarantee, Granite Reliable Wind Generation
. “In the name of ‘green energy,’ the Obama administration is using taxpayer money to subsidize a New Hampshire wind farm that is a subsidiary of a hugely profitable company.”(Editorial, “A NH Solyndra? Wind Farm Gets Fed Loan,” The Union Leader, 9/28/11)
· “…Granite Reliable Wind Generation, which received a $168.9 million loan.The company's majority owner is Nancy Ann DeParle, a White House deputy chief of staff and former head of the president's health care communications team during the reform debate.” (“Solyndra Case Reveals Gateway Between Administration Loans, Obama Allies,” Fox News, 11/16/11). “U.S. Department of Energy announced it would guarantee up to 80 percent of a $168.9 million loan for the Granite Reliable wind farm project last week… Granite Reliable’s wind farm is not proven… If the wind farm flops, and investors cut their losses, the taxpayers stand to lose $135 million.” (Editorial, “A NH Solyndra? Wind Farm Gets Fed Loan,” The Union Leader,