President Barack Obama has repaid many of his campaign donors with a flood of government money, says Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
“Obama, since taking office, has showered his donors and allies with billions in federal dollars,” Priebus writes on Politico
. “A steady stream of grants and loans flows from the administration to Obama’s political cronies. And taxpayers foot the bill.”
Energy investor Steve Westly represents one example, he says. Westly raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign and later was named to the energy secretary’s advisory board. He chaired a subcommittee on energy efficient building materials.
“Conveniently, Westly’s investment firm invested heavily in firms that specialized in such products,” Priebus writes. “Overall, Westly’s firms received more than $500 million from the Obama administration. That’s an awful lot of conflicts of interest for just one man.”
It’s not just Westly. “A 2011 investigation found that nearly 200 of Obama’s biggest political donors received jobs, advisory posts or federal contracts,” Priebus writes. The Washington Post wrote earlier this year that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing has gone to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration officials and advisers.
Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee in 2010 before going bankrupt, is another example, Priebus writes. It was “backed by an Obama donor and fundraiser,” he says.
“Crony capitalism is common practice in the Obama administration . . . Obama treats taxpayer money as his personal piggy bank — using government checks as multimillion-dollar thank you notes to campaign donors. Taxpayers get nothing in return.”
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