Crony Capitalism: Donate to Democratic Candidate- Win $100 Million in Stimulus Cash & Box Seats at SOTU

It’s Called Crony Capitalism.
Obama mentioned a company last night that actually had created jobs thanks to the (failed) democratic Stimulus bill.

“The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right – the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. Economists on the left and the right say that this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster. But you don’t have to take their word for it. Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its work force because of the Recovery Act.”

Of course, like the bogus insurance fraud examples he shared at his last health care speech to Congress, there is more to this story, too.

The democrats gave $100 million to a company owned by prominent democratic donors who have created only 15 jobs so far with the stimulus money. And the company’s owner got to sit with Michelle Obama at the SOTU last night.

The great Tucson Tea Party protest leader Robert Mayer did some research on the company last night and this is what he found:

When I heard Obama praising the stimulus bill, when he told us to ask the small business in Phoenix that is tripling its work force, I thought I’d do a little research into who that company is.

Easy enough. It’s called Ecotality, based out of Scottsdale, and it was the lead receiver of a $100 million grant from the Department of Energy through the stimulus bill. (Ecotality, which used to be called Alchemy Enterpreises, has MANY subsidiaries, so much of this money is actually going to those subsidiaries rather than directly to Ecotality. One such example is Electric Transportation Engineering Corp., a division of Ecotality, which will be putting in electric vehicle infrastructure as far away as Oregon).

President Honors ECOtality/eTec in State of the Union Address

Total jobs added? According to them, 15 in 2009 and 27 in 2010. For $100 million. Am I supposed to cheer for that?

And it appears on the surface that there are political connections — of course, there always are! — to how Ecotality got this grant.

Its CEO, Jonathan Read, is a successful entrepreneur with wide-ranging political connections in Phoenix. He maxed out his political donations in 2006 to Harry Mitchel (D), who beat incumbent JD Hayworth (R) that year. Ecotality falls within Mitchell’s district.

Slade Mead is on the board of directors. He is a lawyer and former Republican state legislator turned Democrat who has given more than $17,000 to Democrats since 2005. He maxed out to Harry Mitchell’s 2006 campaign.

Further, Colin Read is the Vice President of Corporate Development. He was the Assistant Finance Director for Harry Mitchell’s successful 2006 bid for Congress.

They also metwith VP Biden not all that long ago.

I don’t have the time to research into this further than what I’ve found; such as, did Harry Mitchell earmark that money in the stimulus bill? Or is it all just a coincidence?

But the real take away from this? Obama points to this company as an example of the stimulus bill’s success; but it is really just another example of money being doled out to political allies to little effect. How much of that stimulus money do you think will end up going back as political contributions?

Great work, Robert!

(This post was updated)

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