Today’s Dishonest Politico Headline: ‘Romney-Backed Solar Firm Flops’

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President Obama authorized a rushed, poorly thought-out half-billion with a “b” taxpayer-funded “stimulus” into Solyndra, a company with a major stakeholder named George Kaiser, who is also a billionaire bundler for the Obama campaign. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has thus far used Solyndra as a brilliant counter-attack against Obama’s failed attacks on Bain Capital. After all, if Obama wants to compare venture capital records, I say, let’s rock.

Well, per the usual, it’s Politico, MSNBC’s unofficial web-partner, to the rescue with this wildly dishonest headline:

Romney-Backed Solar Firm Flops, Dems Pounce

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? Well, it’s supposed to. The headline is supposed to declare to the world that Romney is a hypocrite and that his primary line of criticism against Obama is over. The first few paragraphs even back up the headline:

A Massachusetts solar company to which Mitt Romney personally delivered a $1.5 million loan when he was governor has gone belly up, leaving him vulnerable to the same “picking winners and losers” charges that he’s been lobbing at President Barack Obama over Solyndra.

The president’s reelection campaign wasted no time noting Romney’s support for Lowell-based Konarka Technologies, which announced Friday it had filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to lay off more than 80 workers and liquidate its assets.

The filing came on the heels of Romney’s unannounced visit last week to Solyndra’s Silicon Valley headquarters, where he accused the Obama administration of a conflict of interest and poor judgment in approving Solyndra’s $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee.

But, deeper in the piece — about eight freakin’ paragraphs — Politico writer Darren Sameulsohn finally gets to the heart of the issue:

[1.] The GOP campaign noted that Massachusetts officials approved Konarka’s loan application for a new pilot production assembly line in December 2002, the month before Romney was sworn in. …

[2.]  And even if Romney had been in office then, the agency that greenlighted the loan wasn’t under the direct control of the governor. …

[3.]  Later in his term, Romney tried to defund the underlying green energy financing program. …

[4.]  Konarka, in the meantime, went on to raise $170 million in private capital as it amassed more than 100 patents for a variety of solar products, including thin, flexible panels that its customers then build into bags and umbrellas. It also raised $5 million more in state loans under Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration.

So a solar company that received a loan not from Romney went out business 9 years after receiving the loan, and that’s Politico’s headline.

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

4 Responses to “Today’s Dishonest Politico Headline: ‘Romney-Backed Solar Firm Flops’”

  1. 1


    Typical liberal trash piece, the kind that our liberal/progressive friends here parrot and quote constantly. Anything to spin away from Obama’s failures. At some point, the massive hammer of reality should break through the veneer of shielding provided by their fantasy viewpoints. Don’t you think?

  2. 2

    Nan G

    Typical Obama propaganda.
    Romney’s actions had NOTHING to do with this company staying in business.
    Stats for businesses show that 8 out of 10 new businesses go under in 3 years.
    This one lasted 9 years after Romney’s actions.
    Tax incentives for solar ending has a much bigger effect on solar businesses than anything else.
    So, what happened 9 years after this company got money through Romney?
    An incredibly helpful solar grant program sunsetted at the end of 2011.
    Whose fault was that?

  3. 3

    Hard Right

    The media will push this knowing it is a lie.
    With any luck Romney’s team will use the rebuttal above to prove it’s a lie.

  4. 4


    Knowing it’s a lie? You’d better make sure you know which side the spin is coming from before you dig yourself in too deeply.

    Romney’s energy credibility problem isn’t just the fact that as a new governor he delivered a previously approved $1.5 million loan to Konkara Industries. It’s that he embraced alternative energy himself. He himself took action to shift $24 million in state funds to renewable energy start-up companies around the state:

    Said Romney: ”The trust fund has been growing for years, and I believe now is the time to refocus its assets in such a manner that it can become a major economic springboard for the Commonwealth by focusing on job creation in the renewable energy sector.”

    Grants announced yesterday include:

    a $2 million grant to Ameresco for its Chicopee facility that uses methane gas from an old landfill to generate electricity;

    a $1.5 million loan for a pilot-scale production line for Konarka, which is licensing solar photovoltaic technology from the University of Massachusetts;

    a $1.5 million grant and loan package for Cambridge fuel-cell maker Nuvera;

    a $1.5 million loan to Westwood fuel-cell maker Acumentrics;

    and a $2.5 million loan to another state renewable energy company whose name is not being revealed because of federal securities disclosure regulations.

    From Gov. Romney taps into ‘green power’ fund-Says $24m will help Massachusetts create jobs, finance start-ups, January 23, 2003.

    Lest there be any confusion about whose idea it actually was to spend fund dollars on renewable energy loans and grants, this is what the previous Governor of Massachusetts had intended to use the money for:

    Days before leaving as acting governor, Romney predecessor Jane M. Swift had suggested draining the renewable energy trust to help close the state’s estimated $3 billion budget deficit next year, saying that its goals were important but ”even a basic sense of priorities suggests” it would be better used avoiding cuts in human services and school aid.

    She wanted to use the funds to reduce state deficits.

    That’s from the same 2003 article.

    At some point it’s going to hit conservatives that the candidate the GOP is giving them is a guy whose actions as governor might have made him a pretty good democrat. His state healthcare mandate was pretty good, as I recall. Why, it could have been a model for the entire nation!

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