Shelly Berkley’s Failed Solar Stimulas
Another day, another solar industry company with ties to corrupt Democrats that received stimulus funding going under. This time it’s Amonix, a start-up that never quite got started, based out of the Las Vegas area.
Amonix’s North Las Vegas facility was approved for $5.9 million in federal tax credits under the stimulus plan, to underwrite early production of four 11-ton, 50-by-72 feet solar cell arrays per day — enough to power up to 30 homes and support about 300 jobs. That tax assistance never materialized though, according to the firm, because the facility never made any money to offset through tax credits.
Amonix has ties to a few prominent Democrats, including Steve Westly, an Obama bundler who had partial-stake ownership in both Amonix’s North Las Vegas facility and in the infamous Solyndra. Others have hitched their political futures to the company’s fortunes, including Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is currently challenging incumbent Sen. Dean Heller.
Berkley supported the trillion-dollar stimulus package that cost taxpayers $1.11 million per month for this boondoggle that created zero new permanent jobs. She is already under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for pushing legislation in Congress that would have helped her husband’s business. Taking donations from a PAC organized by a defunct solar industry company run by an Obama campaign contributor will not help her image, but she accepted $3,100 from Amonix.
It has not been difficult for Heller to brand Berkley as a corrupt government spender as a result of these problems. Berkley was already lagging in the polls, but the race was considered competitive. Now it’s become an uphill battle for the beleaguered Democrat.