We at Sunlight Foundation are fond of writing about fundraisers and gatherings, especially the quirky or high-priced local ones that we come across on our Political Party Time website. But, once in a while, we get a chance to check out the parties in person. Or at least, experience the novelty of attending and meeting the folks who donate and coordinate these expensive affairs while we hang around outside closed doors.
So Thursday evening's fundraiser for Mitt Romney held at the Rennaissance Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington, was an irresistable target. The event was tagged at $2,500 for ...Continue reading
The private rocket that made history early this morning when it blasted the first commercially-launched payload for the international space station into orbit also was fuelled by a decade-long, multi-million-dollar political effort to pry funding from a sometimes skeptical Congress.
Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX, the company behind Tuesday's successful launch, has spent more than $4 million lobbying Congress and given more than $800,000 in political contributions, according to data compiled from Sunlight's Influence Explorer. Many of the company's campaign donations went to key members of Congress in charge of the budget for NASA, which ...Continue reading
Abound Solar, another participant in the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, which is facing scrutiny, has hired Washington lobbyists because of that attention, a company spokesperson said.
The lobbying—by former government officials with ties to Congress and the Department of Energy—started in mid-October, about six weeks after Solyndra, the recipient of a $535 million loan from DOE, filed for bankruptcy. Like Solyndra, one of Abound Solar’s key investors is an Obama fund-raiser, although there is no evidence that the Obama administration favored the companies because of this connection.
The Abound investor is billionaire heiress Pat ...Continue reading
A relatively unknown private company filing for bankruptcy is not usually a major national news story. When the solar energy firm... View ArticleContinue reading
It's unlikely that President Barack Obama will be naming any tax proposals after George B. Kaiser. An investment by the Tulsa billionaire's family foundation in Solyndra, whose bankruptcy may leave taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in federal loans, has raised speculation that the administration acted in part to aid a financial supporter. But the impact on taxpayers of Kaiser's career goes far beyond the $535 million loss. Kaiser has built his fortune in part through shrewdly playing the Internal Revenue Code. In one six year period, during which he increased his net worth enough to ...Continue reading
George B. Kaiser, the Obama campaign bundler and Tulsa oilman whose foundation's investment in Solyndra has raised questions of whether political influence played a role in the now-bankrupt solar panel company's winning $535 million in federal loans, had three White House meetings to discuss energy policy from Dec. 2009 to April 2011.
While Kaiser was a frequent caller at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., his foundation issued a statement stating that the Tulsa billionaire "did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan." Obama administration officials told ABC News that the purpose of his contacts ...Continue reading