Finally, one stimulus project that will create jobs. Unfortunately most of those created jobs will be in China. That doesn’t mean no one in the US will profit from it. Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind this project, a wind farm in Texas which stands to get $450 million in stimulus money. A Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China.
The farm’s backers also have close ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who, at the height of his hard-fought re-election bid this fall, helped blunt congressional criticism over stimulus dollars possibly going to create jobs in China by endorsing a proposal by the Chinese company to build a factory in his home state. Although his campaign received thousands of dollars in donations from the wind farm’s backers and Reid stood on stage with them at a campaign event they hosted, his office declined to answer any questions about the wind farm’s organizers or their plans for Nevada.
The wind farm is planned to be huge, it would consist of 300 2-megawatt wind turbines, each perched atop a 26-story-tall steel tower and spinning three blades each half the length of a football field. The farm would span three counties and 36,000 acres in West Texas. Dubbed the Spinning Star wind farm when completed the project to generate enough to power 180,000 American homes.
It is being planned by an unusual joint partnership between the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, a Dallas investment firm with strong ties to Washington and the Democratic Party, and A-Power Energy Generation Systems, an upstart Chinese supplier of wind turbines. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate the Chinese are bringing financing and the turbines.
What the Americans are supplying is the understanding of the local market and the understanding of how to get money from US Taxpayers including billions in loan guarantees, stimulus grants and “green” financial incentives. And they are going after what ever they can.
To claim the stimulus grant it must arrange its financing and begin work on the wind farm by Dec. 31. Besides the $450 million stimulus grant, A-Power’s SEC filings indicate the joint-venture also will pursue a Department of Energy-backed loan guarantee. According to the SEC filings, the project is waiting to hear if it will receive the loan guarantee before financing will follow to build the turbines.
The Americans involved in the project are a an all-star team of Democratic party sugar daddies.
The investment group’s public face is often Cappy McGarr, a wealthy Texas philanthropist, investor and longtime fixture in Democratic politics, who has given heavily to Democratic candidates across the country and was an early backer of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Joining McGarr in Dallas is Ed Cunningham, a former executive for several large Western entertainment companies in China, a 2002 Democratic senatorial candidate and a former member of Obama’s national finance committee.
Two registered lobbyists with a long history of involvement in Democratic politics, G. John O’Hanlon and Moses Boyd, are the group’s anchors in Washington. O’Hanlon has been a party operative since the 1980s — a protégé of Democratic heavyweight Terry McAuliffe — and has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic causes. Boyd is a former senior Democratic Capitol Hill staffer turned lobbyist.
McGarr married into Democratic Party royalty — his wife’s uncle is legendary Democratic power broker Robert Strauss — and has made his own name as a big-time donor to the party and candidates across the country. McGarr and his wife, Janie Strauss McGarr, have given more than $375,000 to various Democratic candidates and political action committees since 2006, according to Federal Election Commission records. That doesn’t include the $50,000 he donated to Obama’s inauguration and $50,000 to $100,000 in donations from others that he “bundled” for the Obama campaign.
All told, these four and their spouses have given more than $1.8 million in campaign donations since 1990, with McGarr and his wife accounting for more than half of that.
Those kind of donations to the party in power can get you a hell of a lot of giant windmills.
…The money that McGarr “bundled” in the last election — essentially working on a volunteer basis to solicit money for the Obama presidential campaign — is particularly significant, she said. It’s an important and valuable role to play in a campaign, she said, and one that typically is acknowledged.
There is a lot more to this story of political pocket greasing and mis-directing stimulus dollars to China. All together it smells as does most of the projects associated with the $800+ billion dollar porkulus project.