Democrat green jobs self licking ice cream cone
A Waltham-based electric car battery supplier — now facing financial implosion despite receiving $249 million in federal stimulus cash — was a heavy donor to congressional Democrats before scoring the hefty taxpayer handout, the Herald has learned.
A123 Systems CEO David Vieau has donated $16,900 to Washington, D.C., power brokers and Democratic committees since 2008, including $2,400 to Bay State Rep. Edward J. Markey, the chairman of the climate and energy committees, in 2009 — just three months before A123 received $249 million in federal stimulus funds. Vieau donated another $1,500 to Markey last year as the company pushed for even more federal dollars through government loans.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, another ardent supporter of the company, received $2,000 in campaign donations from Vieau in 2010, the same year Vieau gave $2,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2008, Vieau donated $4,800 to campaign funds supporting President Obama and $200 to the Democratic National Committee.
“It’s an incestuous relationship in which these general players are feeding off each other at the expense of the taxpayer,” said David Tuerck of the Beacon Hill Institute.
Said Massachusetts GOP spokesman Tim Buckley: “It is a great time to get into the green tech field — as long as there are politicians to grease and tax dollars available to throw away on feel-good, do-nothing companies.”
Efforts to reach Vieau for comment were unsuccessful yesterday.
In an echo of the government’s past green-energy gambles on scandal-plagued Solyndra and the Bay State’s own bankrupt Evergreen Solar, A123 has laid off more than 100 employees and seen a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011 despite the heavy infusion of federal cash.
A123 has yet to turn a profit, and losses have been mounting. Earlier this month, the company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $85 million despite $40.4 million in revenue. The company’s stock tanked to an all-time low of just more than $1 yesterday on news of a $55 million battery recall. A defective battery caused a luxury electric car, the Fisker Karma, to conk out earlier this month in a Consumer Reports test....Who did the projections on how many batteries would be needed for electric cars? Has anyone been more spectacularly wrong on the market for electric cars and the batteries to go into them? The assumptions used were clearly unreasonable, yet taxpayer money has been squandered on these green pipe dreams by Democrats.