Is Media Matters Attacking 'Throw Them All Out' to Protect Soros and Other Donors Who Received Stimulus Funds?

Media Matters has offered up a ridiculous post that tries to distort the fundamental facts about Barack Obama’s green energy program. I hesitated whether to even comment on it because they fail in the basic tenets of honest journalism. George Soros is a large contributor to Media Matters. In my book Throw Them All Out, I point out how Soros has received millions in taxpayer money via the green energy program. And I also devote an entire chapter to Soros’s crony capitalism as it relates to the stimulus. Does Media Matters disclose this blatant conflict of interest? Of course not. Media Matters is displaying blatant cronyism, pure and simple.

Since my book Throw Them All Out is about cronyism and conflicts of interest, I guess now I’m going to have to include a new chapter on Media Matters for the paperback edition. I will respond to their criticisms now. But until they release the names of their large donors who have received green energy taxpayer money, I will not respond more in the future. It’s a waste of time to exchange arguments with an organization that claims to be interested in the truth but runs from it. Failure to disclose these names shows a complete and total lack of integrity. Full disclosure: my source of support is apparent in my title. I am the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Financial support comes from the William J. Casey Foundation. And just so Media Matters doesn’t try to distort matters further, this foundation is not connected with the oil industry. Now, Media Matters, it’s your turn.

First, let’s see what they don’t dispute: that at least 10 members of Barack Obama’s 2008 National Campaign Finance Committee are large investors in companies that received Obama stimulus money and that at least one dozen campaign bundlers did the same. How many of these individuals are financial supporters of Media Matters? We will never know, because the organization would never be honest enough to reveal them to us. They also never dispute the fact that Obama-linked lobbyists have served as intermediaries to get money for green tech companies. And finally, they never dispute the criticisms that the Department of Energy’s own Inspector General has raised about how the various green energy stimulus programs have been run.

They say I use bad math in my chapter on the green energy scam. But it’s not bad math. It’s more that they are poor readers. To their specific criticisms:

They accuse me of deception because 18 of 25 of the grants or loans I mention in my chapter are not part of the 1705 program. But then of course, I never said they were. I offered numerous examples from all sorts of Department of Energy programs (both loans and grants) as well as the Treasury Department’s stimulus-related smart grid program to illustrate my point that stimulus money was used as a conduit to transfer taxpayer money to Obama financiers. They never deny this core fact that the vast majority of loans and grants have gone to Obama financiers.

What I said was very clear–that as of September 15, $16 billion of the $20 billion that had been approved was linked to Obama financiers. This is not be confused with loan guarantees that were closed–that is, completed. Read the paragraph on page 92 again. What’s the difference between approved and closed? There were projects that were approved by the Department of Energy but then never launched because of local opposition or other problems related to the project. The point is that they were approved to receive federal funds, which proves the cronyism that exists.

Of the 28 Loan Guarantee projects in the 1705 program that were closed, 17 are directly tied to Obama financiers. Here they are:

1366 Technologies: $150 million

Abound Solar: $400 million

Beacon Power: $43 million

Brightsource: $1.6 billion

Cogentrix: $90.6 million

Exelon: $646 million

Granite Reliable: $169 million

Kahuku Wind Power: $1 million

Nevada Geothermal: $98.5 million

Nextera: $1.46 billion

Nextera: $852 million

NRG: $1.2 billion

NRG: $967 million

Ormat Nevada: $350 million

Solar Reserve: $737 million

Solyndra: $535 million

US Geothermal: $97 million

They say that I overstate how much money Texas Clean Energy and First Solar received. But I didn’t say that they received that cash. I was simply stating what they were approved for. Note on page 95: “$1.5 billion was approved…” As to me inventing taxpayer money for Beech Ridge Energy Wind, the project has been mired in lawsuits which has caused delays.

As to their attacks on my listing of Obama financiers, they claim that some of the financiers I mention gave to Republicans too. So what! I never suggested that all the recipients of taxpayer loans and grants gave exclusively to Democrats. They mention only a handful, ignoring the many other names I offer. And again, they don’t deny that ten members of Obama’s National Campaign Finance Committee and more than one dozen bundlers are tied to these federal stimulus loans or grants.

Media Matters is trying to muddy the waters by sowing confusion. But there can be no confusion about this: until you disclose which of your contributors received these loans and grants (including Mr. Soros), you have zero credibility. You are doing the bidding of others while trying to position yourself as a journalistic organization.

Cronyism and conflict of interest relate not just to congressmen and financiers. They also spring up in so-called non-profits like Media Matters.


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