Another Obama Bundler Boondoggle Goes Broke

John Ransom
Posted: Jul 20, 2012 12:01 AM

Another green company backed by an Obama bundler just bit the dust.

After announcing earlier this year that the company would lay off 200 of its 300 employees, solar manufacturer Amonix Inc. closed its operation in North Las Vegas leaving taxpayers in the red by $20 million.

“Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas,” reports the Las Vegas Sun, a liberal paper, last January, “the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce. Flextronics Industrial, the Singapore solar panel manufacturer that partnered with Amonix to staff the new $18 million, 214,000-square-foot plant, laid off about 200 of its 300-plus employees Tuesday.”

Now only 14 months after opening the facility, and seven months after massive layoffs, it has closed due to manufacturing over-capacity in the solar industry, along with quality control issues.

"I don't think they had a lot of training," said Rene Kenerly, a former material and supply manager at Amonix, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. "There were a lot of quality issues. A lot of stuff was coming back because it had some functionality issues."

Sounds like a picture perfect Obama program: Very expensive with "functionality issues."     

The man behind the company, Steve Westly, has received over $500 million in taxpayer-funded grants, loans and cash for a variety of companies- mostly in the in the green space after raising $86,000 for Obama as a bundler in 2008, according to the campaign cash website

So far this election cycle, Westly has donated $101,000 to various Democrat candidates and groups according to data compiled by opensecrets, including $60,000 to DNC Service Corp, also known by the less creepy name of the Democrat National Committee.

Earlier this week, I detailed plans by another Obama bundler, Steven Gluckstern, to help municipalities seize mortgage loans under eminent domain laws- that is, abuse eminent domain laws- in order to generate fees for his company, Mortgage Resolution Partners.

Westly’s list of interests backed by the Obama administration is much, much longer than the Gluckstern scheme however.

From the Center for Public Integrity:

“We believe that with the Obama administration, and other governments … committing hundreds of billions of dollars to clean tech, there has never been a better time to launch clean tech companies,” says his company website. “The Westly Group is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this surge of interest and growth.”

Uniquely positioned, indeed.

One of President Barack Obama’s most prolific fundraisers, Westly was among guests at January’s state dinner for the president of China. A month later, he dined with Obama again at an exclusive San Francisco Bay area gathering for prominent high tech CEOs, including the leaders of Facebook, Google and Apple.

In addition to the $20 million in loans and tax credits for the failed Amonix plant, Westly also is involved in other companies that have benefited from Obama-directed taxpayer help: Tesla Motors, CalStar Products, Solexel, Recycle Bank, EdenIQ and Amyris Biotechnologies.

Now I understand why the Democrats are so worried about Mitt’s tax returns: Mitt’s showing income not losses.

Obama's taxpayer rate of returns shows losses not income.

Occupy that.

Here’s my proposal: If it’s constitutional to tax people who don’t have healthcare, isn’t it constitutional to levy a tax on investors who benefit from federal green energy boondoggles?

If you are going to go after millionaires and billionaires, here’s a set of folks who are just crying for it.

Because if you want to know what happened to the all the stimulus jobs that were supposed to be created, now you know: They were sacrificed to stimulate the bundlers.

That’s all.

"Like" me on Facebook and you'll get sneak peeks of columns and, as an added bonus, I will never raise your taxes. Send me email and I just might mention you on Sunday.