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Scorecard: Solyndra vs. Konarka

In a move that they’ll surely regret, the Obama campaign has called attention to a “green energy” loan to Konarka Power Plastic of Lowell, MA while Mitt Romney was governor. They have accused Romney of hypocrisy in his criticism of the Obama Administration’s DOE loan guarantee to Solyndra and other “green energy” firms.

Here’s how the two loans panned out:

Obama Romney
Failed Green Company Solyndra Konarka
“Investment” $535,000,000 $1,500,000
Taxpayer Money Lost $528,000,000 $0
Years to Bankruptcy 2 9
Source of Funds Federal State
Loan Repaid? No Yes
Tied to Wealthy Campaign Donors? Yes No

You’ve gotta wonder about someone who can draw any kind of equivalence between these two programs. Maybe that’s the difference between a community organizer and a businessman. [Update: Note also that there have been several other failures in Obama's DoE LAN guarantee program, notably Beacon Power Corp., a failure of similar scale to Solyndra. - Ed.]

TobyToon cartoon idea: Driver A is driving 125 mph in a School Zone. While drunk. In a stolen car. Painted like a cop car. Driver B is driving with interstate traffic at 67 mph in a 65 zone. Driver A to arresting trooper: “See? He’s speeding too!”

The analogy is pretty good, except that there’s absolutely nothing to criticize in Romney’s role in the Konarka loan, while everything about Solyndra smells bad.

TheHill: Solar firm that received state loans under Romney files for bankruptcy

“Every day we see a new example of Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy. Just one day after he pulled a political stunt outside Solyndra, we learned even more about his record of picking winners and losers in Massachusetts when one of the companies he gave a loan to went bankrupt,” said Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement. “Mitt Romney may think he can play by a different set of rules, but he can’t hide his history of giving millions of dollars in government loans to campaign donors.” …

The [Romney] campaign also noted that unlike Solyndra’s ties to the president, nobody from Konarka had given to the Romney campaign and the company had paid back the loan distributed during Romney’s tenure. Williams also noted that the decision to loan Konarka money was made before Romney became governor…

Also, Boston Globe: Mitt Romney accused of hypocrisy after Lowell solar company goes bankrupt

Cross-posted at Maley’s Energy Blog.


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