Oct 20, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Obama and A123 Systems CEO David Vieau (standing to the right of the podium)
Excerpted from Independent Review Journal: The Washington Guardian recently reported on the ‘green’ battery manufacturer, A123 Systems, that went bankrupt shortly after it took in loads of taxpayer dollars through the Obama stimulus package bills. Unbelievably, even as it was teetering to collapse, A123 received special treatment from the White House, as they dumped hundreds of thousands into lobbying efforts to secure the government grants. It’s a sceme of either hair-brained stupidity, or ingenious corruption:
Even as advanced battery maker A123 Systems struggled for financial viability, it played the Washington insider game, where political money and access go hand in hand.
The Massachusetts firm dished out nearly $1 million to hire a powerhouse lobbying firm with close ties to President Barack Obama between 2007 and 2009, and two of its top executives made personal donations to several high-profile Democrats in Congress as it won federal funding for its efforts to build the next generation of lithium batteries for electric vehicles.
The battery manufacturing firm’s CEO, David Vieau, must have done President Barack Obama a long list of party favors, especially considering just how well Vieau was treated by the White House:
And its president and CEO, David Vieau, an early financial backer of President Barack Obama, scored five invitations to the White House in 2009 and 2010, including a meeting he attended with the president, White House logs show. And when the company opened a new Michigan plant, Obama made a high-profile call to congratulate.
A123 was able to secure $6 million under the Bush administration, and then $250 million under the Obama administration. In turn, the firm showered Democrats in Washington with lobbying and campaign funding:
Senate lobbying records show A123 hired the powerhouse lobbying firm of Skadden Arps, paying it $380,000 in 2007, $480,000 in 2008 and $110,000 in 2009 to help it secure government backing. The firm has connections across the lobbying company, including four lawyers who served as fundraising bundlers for Obama’s 2008 election. Lobbyist Leslie Goldman – the Energy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs under President Jimmy Carter – handled A123?s lobbying, disclosure records show.
Among the company’s early accomplishments was getting several members of Congress to support its case for federal funding…
The article continues, showing the CEO’s personal campaign contributions…
Vieau was an early supporter of Obama, donating $2,300 to the then-senator’s 2008 campaign. His generosity to Democrats continued. He donated a total of $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee between 2010 and 2011; $2,000 to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in 2010; and since 2009 almost $5,000 to Rep. Edward Markey, who represents Massachusetts’s 7th district near the company’s headquarters, according to Federal Election Commission donation records.
Unfortunately for the American taxpayer, this is now the fourth firm that has gone bankrupt after receiving buckets of cash from the feds under the Obama stimulus packages, according to the report. However, the folks who always seem to win in these games are the CEO’s, the lobbyists, and the Democrats in Washington who receive the generous campaign funding.