Ad Campaign Targets Obama, Solyndra Loan Scandal

Monday, 07 Nov 2011 02:43 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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New ads targeting President Barack Obama’s involvement with $535 million in federal loan guarantees to Solyndra, which subsequently went bankrupt, have hit television markets in several all-important swing states.

Americans for Prosperity is paying for the $2 million-plus ad campaign, which features a video clip, titled "Obama's Green Giveaway," in which Obama declares: “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

Story continues below video.



The ad, which depicts the president amid a backdrop of a fictitious newspaper called Solyndra News, notes that wealthy donors with ties to the solar company gave Obama hundreds of thousands of dollars. In return, Solyndra, a business the White House knew to be on a path to bankruptcy, received taxpayer loan money, the campaign alleges.

“Is this the change we’re supposed to believe in? Tell President Obama you shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars for political favors,” the campaign states, urging viewers to sign a petition to voice their concerns. www.americansforproperity.org.

Americans for Prosperity is a nonprofit advocacy group funded primarily by businessmen Charles and David Koch, who have contributed, along with family members, nearly $3 million to mostly Republican candidates since the 1990 election cycle.

Tim Phillips, president of the conservative organization, said in an interview with Fox News that it’s important for the American people to understand that government spending is not the answer to get the economy moving.

“We know it’s not. We know the private sector does it. That’s a salient issue,” Phillips said.

A September poll of 650 Ohio voters found that the Solyndra scandal was penetrating only with "news junkies," according to USA Today. Only 11 percent of the respondents said they had heard “a great deal" about the issue while 16 percent said they had heard "a little" but couldn't talk about the issue in any detail, according to the poll by Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz & Associates.

"Our poll testing shows that this is resonating with independents and (young) voters," Phillips countered. "In 2008, they listened to then-candidate Barack Obama say that he was a different kind of political leader — that the old way of doing things . . . were over. And this issue proves, in fact, that that's inaccurate. He let his cronies and political backers get first in line for government handouts and they make decisions based on an ideological agenda."

Phillips added that the organization’s polling finds that voters are taking note of Solyndra and questioning the wisdom of the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that lent the troubled company $535 million. The ads are to appear in Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, and Virginia over a two-week period early this month, according to USA Today.

A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) questioned the motivation for the media blitz.

"It shouldn't shock anyone that the Koch brothers are shilling for their oil company by funding attack ads against clean energy investments," DNC press secretary Melanie Roussell is quoted as saying. "They are defending their own interests — the Koch Industries oil and gas conglomerate. This is just more of the same Republican efforts to protect corporations, in this case, their own."

Last week, a House panel voted to subpoena the White House for emails and other documents related to Solyndra, the solar panel maker that subsequently went bankrupt, and the FBI raided it.

The subcommittee vote in the Republican-controlled House means the White House — unless it invokes executive privilege — may be asked to turn over a broad range of emails, including any received about Solyndra on Obama's personal Blackberry.

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