Amonix, the California based company that received $5.9 million of federal stimulus money to open a solar energy manufacturing plant in Nevada in 2010, announced yesterday it was closing its Nevada plant after barely a year in operation. It was more bad news for Berkley’s Senate campaign.
Back on January 8, 2010, Congressman Berkley touted the federal funding for Amonix's Nevada solar plant. In a press release issued that day, her office said:
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today announced that solar cell manufacturer Amonix will receive $5.9 million in federal stimulus funding to create clean energy manufacturing jobs in Nevada…This funding will be used to create Nevada jobs involved in the manufacturing of highly efficient solar panels that increase the amount of clean energy that can be harnessed from every ray of sunshine.
Yesterday, Berkley's Senate opponent, Republican Dean Heller, criticized her support of “big-government spending solutions." These solutions, argued Heller, "are failing at a time when Nevadans can least afford it.”
A Breitbart News search of Federal Election Commission records shows that the now defunct Amonix, Inc. Solar Federal Political Action Committee gave almost half of its political campaign donations to the Berkley for Senate campaign. The PAC was organized in January of 2011, and terminated in June of 2012. During this time, it raised slightly in excess of $15,000. It distributed a total of $7,100 to political campaigns, $3,100 of which went to the Berkley for Senate campaign.
A spokesman for the Heller for Senate campaign, Chandler Smith, said:
Congresswoman Berkley, when you voted for the trillion dollar stimulus, you promised it would create 34,000 jobs in Nevada. Nevada lost jobs. Congresswoman Berkley, you pushed $6 million in funding to a company that has created zero long-term jobs for Nevada. Congresswoman, it’s time. It’s time for you to admit the stimulus - and your policies – aren’t working.
Charges of big spending, crony capitalism, and self dealing continue to plague Congressman Berkley in her campaign for Nevada’s open seat in the United States Senate.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.