Scandals Undercut Obama Re-Election Message; Bio Battle: Rick from Paint Creek Versus Willard from Bloomfield Hills
Third Scandal Drags on Obama Campaign
“The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad… The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.”
For a president who is already dragging an unpopular agenda and low marks on his handling of the economy along the campaign trail, this scandal troika is seriously bad news.
Treasury Joins FBI, Congress in Investigating Stimulus Loan to Failed Solar Panel Company
The Treasury Department has launched an investigation into a now-defunct solar panel company’s $528 million stimulus loan, focusing specifically on the federal bank that processed it.
The loan to Solyndra has set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with a Republican-led House committee releasing emails suggesting the White House had pressured budget officials into expediting their fiscal review of the loan ahead of a plant groundbreaking. The company was touted prominently by the Obama administration for its work growing so-called green jobs.
ATF Florida Gun Probe Earns Congressional Scrutiny in Wake of ‘Fast and Furious’
Several lawmakers are questioning the Obama administration about whether the controversial “Fast and Furious” gunrunning probe may have had a cousin in Florida that resulted in guns being trafficked to Central America.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., penned a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson inquiring about a program known as “Operation Castaway.” Other top lawmakers are also starting to look into it, though ATF claims the program was above board and not similar to Operation Fast and Furious at all.
Kenneth Melson has been acting director of the ATF since 2009.
The Justice Department says Castaway was an anti-gun trafficking operation handled by an ATF division in Florida. It resulted last year in a slew of convictions for defendants the department claimed provided firearms linked to violent crimes around the world. But in light of questions surrounding the Fast and Furious probe out of ATF’s Phoenix division, Bilirakis questioned whether Castaway bore the same suspicious hallmarks.
Fast and Furious came under fire for allegedly allowing guns to “walk” across the Mexico border in an attempt to track their migration into cartel hands. Weapons tied to the program were found at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder last year.
Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn’t the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.
At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.
Evergreen Solar Inc., indirectly received $5.3 million through a state grant to open a $450 million facility in 2007 that employed roughly 800 people. The company, once a rock star in the solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection last month, saying it couldn’t compete with Chinese rivals without reorganizing. The company intends to focus on building up its manufacturing facility in China.
SpectraWatt, based in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., is also a solar cell company that was spun out of Intel in 2008. In June 2009, SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the stimulus package. SpectraWatt was one of 13 companies to receive the money to help develop ways to improve solar cells without changing current manufacturing processes.
Two Breaking News Scandals Rock The Obama White House (votingamerican.wordpress.com)
SOLYNDRA-GATE: What You Need To Know About The Scandal Threatening The Obama Presidency (businessinsider.com)
Jon Stewart Blasts Obama Administration For Solyndra Scandal (mediaite.com)
White House Warned in 2009 That Solyndra Was Poor Investment (jonathanturley.org)
Just the Tip of Stimulus Scandal Iceberg (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)