The Utah GOP state convention is this Saturday, and 3,500 state delegates will decide whether to nominate the incumbent Senator Bob Bennett or one of seven challengers to represent the party in the general election. Several polls conducted among delegates have pointed to Mike Lee enjoying a clear lead, with Bennett and Tim Bridgewater competing for second place.From all indications, Bennett doesn't stand a chance at surviving convention. But Bridgewater being in second isn't good onews, either.I’ve talked about Bridgewater before. He supported No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D before he was against them. Now a Salt Lake Tribune article details his use of government funding for either businesses that he has founded, currently owns, or consults with. Bridgewater claims he is the business man who knows how to make a payroll and slash expenses. Well, now we know how. He takes money from taxpayers' wallets to do so. Here's what we know about his business dealings:
- Bridgewater paints himself as a businessman, when in reality he's effectively a lobbyist hired to secure government funds for companies (think stimulus and bailouts). He's the chairman of Interlink Capital Strategies, a company that says right on its website that it specializes in accessing "funding for international projects using government support from U.S., European, Asian, and Multilateral Developmental Institutions." Interlink works in "green energy finance through various government programs, including the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program."
- As chairman of Interlink, Bridgewater has consulted for Raser Technologies, a company that won a $33 million Treasury grant in February to build a geothermal power plant. Just a few weeks ago, with Bridgewater's help, Raser announced being awarded $1 million in Obama stimulus money for a geothermal study in Indonesia. In a press release, Bridgewater remarked that the federal money would "result in U.S. jobs". He sounds a lot like President Obama.
- Another company Bridgewater has owned is Ignite! Software with Neil Bush -- George W.'s brother. Together, they both profited from the No Child Left Behind legislation by selling computer products that catered specifically to the requirements in that legislation.
- Bridgewater also has links with Neil Bush to an organization called the CP Group. This is the same group that was tied to the Buddhist Temple fiasco with Al Gore and Bill Clinton and with influence peddling in Washington DC.
All of Bridgewater's business operations that I've been able to review have received or arranged for government funding. All of them. He has expressed opposition to the stimulus while on the campaign trail, but in private he and his companies and clients have profited mightily from federal programs and our tax dollars. And if these business dealings were not bad enough, Bridgewater was also the Western States Coordinator for John McCain's presidential campaign in the primary. This isn't the mark of a true conservative who is going to stand up for our values.So, let’s go over what we know about this guy:
- Supported NCLB
- Supported Medicare Part D
- Uses government subsidies, grants, earmarks and loans for businesses he has dealings with.
- Was Western States Coordinator for John McCain in the 2008 Republican primary for president
Does this sound like a Senator who would work to correct the ills that Senator Bennett has left in his wake? I hope the Republican delegates in Utah don't fall for another Bennett in conservative clothing. We will just end up with more of the same.