SHADY: Pat Stryker’s Name Appears In White House Visitor Logs At Key Points In Abound Solar Loan

Democratic mega-donor Pat Stryker's name appears in White House visitor logs at key points in the Abound Solar loan process. A review of White House visitor logs when compared to the timeline for approval of the $400 million taxpayer-backed loan to the now-bankrupt company yields some interesting overlaps, raising questions worth investigating outside of an anonymous blog.

The one caveat is that a "Pat Stryker" appears in the logs, but the White House and the Fort Collins billionaire heiress have yet to publicly confirm that she is the Pat Stryker in question. We assume there are not a lot of "Pat Strykers" out there capable of getting three White House meetings on the schedule in a year. 

Democratic donor Pat Stryker has had an outsized role in Abound Solar. Her Bohemian Companies was a large private investor in the company.

Abound, like Stryker, has also had a great deal of Democratic politician ties. The company ran advertising "thanking" then-Congresswoman Betsy Markey for voting for the Cap and Trade bill. Former Governor Bill Ritter personally hand delivered two letters of support for the company directly to Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu. After Ritter left office, Stryker's Bohemian Companies helped bankroll a $300,000 a year salary for Ritter at CSU focused on renewable energy. 

Additionally, Stryker donated $50,000 to Obama's inauguration, and raised another $87,500 for the same. Her tight political connections — including funding millions in liberal attack groups and other Democrat political infrastructure in Colorado — leads many observers to wonder about her role in helping secure the $400 million loan from the Obama administration.

When you compare White House visitor logs to key points in the Abound Solar loan approval process, something even sketchier emerges.


A "Pat Stryker" first appears in the White House logs in October 2009, meeting with a staff member in Operations. Nine months later, on July 3, President Obama personally announced the $400 million loan to Abound.

Only a day after Obama announced the loan to Abound, on July 4, a "Pat Stryker" shows up in White House visitor logs.

The overlap continues with the approval of the loan. Abound announced on December 14, 2010 that the Department of Energy had officially approved their loan application. Then four days later, on December 18, a "Pat Stryker" again shows up in White House visitor logs. 

What is going on here? It would seem the key dates in Abound Solar's campaign to get a government loan match up a little too closely to a mega donor for the Democrats and Obama setting meetings at the White House. 

The Sunlight Foundation last year tried to figure this out, but was rebuffed by the White House, who refused to answer any questions about the meetings. The only thing a White House spokesman did say was that the July and December meetings appear to be missed appointments, since no check in time was listed on the records. 

The question we have is: Did a Pat Stryker have meetings on those dates? If so, is it the same Pat Stryker who has donated millions to get Democrats elected? And if that is true, how can that not be seen as a lobbying campaign to use political connections to get nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer loans?

(Photo Credit: NREL)

 

UNION SPONSORSHIP: Filing Shows Unions Buy Targeted State House and Senate Races

On July 2nd, campaigns were furiously assembling their finance reports due by close of business.  Since then, we’ve been working on giving voters a peek into which candidates have the most union backing.  Not surprisingly, most of the union sponsorship ends up helping Democratic candidates in “races to watch”, as named in both The Colorado Statesman and The Colorado Observer.  The candidate with the most union “investment” is (drumroll) State Senator Evie Hudak, who has taken at least $15,250 from unions.  We wish we could say we were surprised. Please congratulate Ms. Hudak next time you see her on her big win.

Here is our top ten list, plus five honorable mentions.  A quick note about these figures – these numbers are simply the donations we could clearly identify as unions.  With the complex state and federal campaign finance rules, more union money may be out there, so this is not meant to be an all-encompassing figure, but merely a snapshot of direct union contributions.

SD19: Hudak ($15,250)
HD3: Kagan ($13,450)
SD22: A. Kerr ($13050)
SD26: Newell ($10,450)
SD25: Hodge ($9,250)
SD17: M. Jones ($9,000)
HD36: Ryden ($8,700)
HD29: Kraft-Tharp ($7,975)
HD50: Young ($7,950)
HD33: Primavera ($7,650)

Honorable Mentions:
SD21: Uliberri ($7,500)
HD18: P. Lee ($5,800)
HD35: Peniston ($5,200)
HD47: Rodosevich ($5,000)
HD17: Exum ($4508)

To see which unions supported which candidates, please view the chart below.

 

 


 

MESA COUNTY GOP VICTORY OFFICE OPENS WITH STANDING ROOM ONLY CROWD

Published on July 7, 2012 by

The Mesa County Republican Victory Office held its grand opening today with a standing-room-only crowd in attendance. Ruth Ehlers, Mesa County Republican Chairman, her officers, and about 150 people welcomed Colorado Republican leaders and campaigners to their headquarters which are located centrally in Grand Junction.  Several press outlets, including television stations, were present. The leader of the Democrat party from San Miguel county was also huddled in the crowd, apparently tracking the words and activities of the GOP candidates present.

The Victory Headquarters will serve as both the home of the Mesa County Republican Party and the Romney for President Campaign in Western Colorado. The Romney Campaign has called upon the GOP Chairs in each Colorado county to oversee its efforts.

Jared Wright, the candidate for State House District 54 spoke first, urging those present to be active in getting their friends and neighbors to register to vote in November. 

Ray Scott, the incumbent candidate for Colorado House District 55, spoke briefly about his doings in the State House over the last two years. Ray Scott was selected by the American Conservative Union as one of the most Conservative members of the Colorado State Assembly. He received this recognition, along with several other Republican Assemblymen, at the Western Conservative Summit last weekend in Denver. Congressman Scott emphasized the need for an economic boon in Western Colorado in the form of busines-friendly legislation. He called out Governor Hickenlooper to use his influence to spur the energy sector.  Ray Scott detailed his tireless work on behalf of small-business and conservative interests in the state.

State Senator Steve King of Grand Junction, also a recepient of the ACU's Most Conservative Colorado Legislator award, gave some remarks about the economy, the burdensome regulations that the federal government has imposed on Colorado industries, and the need for the Colorado Senate to have a Republican majority as a result of the November elections.

Rose Pugliese, the candidate for Mesa County Commissioner in District 3, spoke about her plan to decrease local regulations that currently inhibit business growth in Mesa County.

Scott Tipton, the incumbent candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Colorado's District 3, one of the largest Congressional districts in the country, spoke emphatically about the potential of Colorado's energy economy.  Tipton, a small-business owner and long-time resident of rural Western Colorado, hammered home the message that the Federal Government has done more to destroy small-businesses that it has to help them. The energy economy, he said, just needs government and the Obama Administration to get out of the way. He recalled that President Obama has subsidized other countries, like Brazil, that received 2 billion dollars of American tax-payer money, to help them expand their off-shore oil industries, while simultaneously blocking energy exploration and expansion in the United States. 

The overarching theme of the speeches give by Colorado Republican candidates who were present was the need for jobs on the Westen Slope, which has languished with an adjusted unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, and an actual jobless rate around 20 percent.

The Romney Victory Team coordinators were present. They recruited several enthusiastic attendees to walk precincts and man the headquarters phone bank, which was immediately abuzz with volunteers making phone calls, assembling yard signs, and planning the election season activities.

The Mesa County Republican Party opened the official election headquarters with a sense of unity and optimism.  The board of directors of the MCRP has worked hard to unify the party and pull together people of diverse political stripes, from Republicans, to Libertarians, to Independents, to ensure that the principles of individual liberty and limited government win the day on November 6th, 2012.


 

When You Just Can’t Take No “Smore”

A Commentary by Tea Party Patriot

Story links below (for those who don’t know the story)

They say diplomacy is the ability to tell a cowboy to go to hell in such a nice way that he looks forward to the trip.  But they also say that war is just diplomacy by other means.  But there are moments when diplomacy is just not applicable, and these moments come most often not by design but more by happenstance.  And I came face to face with just such a moment when I was invited to tag along with a few GJResult.Tea Party board members to an impromptu meeting with Mesa County Commissioner Craig “Don’t you know who I am” Meis which consisted of about an hour long dissertation on why Meis (who described himself as Joe Six pack) was more cynical today than he was when he first ran for office. Imagine that; what with voters coming out of the woodwork to whip up on him like a redheaded stepchild in the cyberspace world of internet comments.  Well, yeah!  

It was a mesmerizing performance.  I found myself leaning forward on the table.  All you ever wanted to know but were too afraid to ask about the inner workings of law enforcement and the judicial process and it all centered around Meis’ conclusion that the irresistible force of government power was focused on creating cookie cutter criminals.  

The example given, (believe it or not) was how laws against public urination (Democrat  CD3 candidate Sal Pace’s name did come up) or laws against underage drinking were designed (presumably by some misguided or malicious law maker) solely for the purpose of enlarging the pool of mandatory reporting of sexual offenders or creating lengthy criminal records for misguided youths.

By this time, even though it was crystal clear that Meis was about to make all of this hypothetical conspiracy somehow connected to his burn ban violation and ticket fixing attempt, (or more correctly attempts in the plural), I realized that right there in front of God and everybody I was doing an imitation of my Dash hound with my head tilted to the side (they like it when you do that); looking directly into Meis’ blue eyes in wonderment that this guy actually believed what he was saying.  

This wasn’t just some politician’s rant, contrived to elicit sympathy from a mob of ‘tea baggers’ whose media constructed persona is a one size fits all tin foil militia hat.  The moment was so poignant that diplomacy went right out the window and was replaced with an uncontrollable urge to speak truth to power. And before I could stop it, someone using my mouth uttered the decidedly undiplomatic phrase; “you haven’t got a clue do you?”

Well, to say the least I was totally taken aback as obviously were the other sit down participants.  To his credit, Meis came back almost immediately with the well thought out response of;” Huh”?  Which prompted the evil spirit (which by then had complete control of both my brain and my mouth) to repeat the declaration, slowly and distinctly so its meaning couldn’t not be misunderstood; and there it was; “yoouuuuuu haaveennn’t got a cluuue, have you”; followed by what could only be described by a pregnant silence and then a nervous chuckle which made the rounds.

Now to be fair to Meis, it must be said that he had a valid point about unnecessary laws that are often redundant and without applicable purpose. I guess he just didn’t realize how strange and surreal this whole conversation was coming from an elected official whose job included creating county ordinances and a bureaucracy that not even the most patient, mild mannered citizenry couldn’t navigate with the aid of a hand held GPS device.  

But I had already stepped in it and I had to do something to recover fast so I applied what I had learned from the politicians.  I went on the attack and I threw the trick question that I had written on the palm of my hand at him. “Are you a member of Western Slope Conservative Alliance Tea Party”?  Now he was looking at me the same way my Dash hound looks at me when she’s trying to create guilt at being ordered off the sofa.  But again a quick recovery and the absolutely priceless answer; “Not that I know of” with the follow up “I don’t ever remember joining that organization”.  

I saw my opportunity to reintroduce diplomacy into the conversation and remove the sword of Damocles which I had just placed, not only over my own head but Commissioner Meis’ also.  That’s when I offered to send him the link to the Denver Post article (link below) which was apparently the only official record of his membership in an organization that did not exist at the time the article was written, and was clearly based on disinformation provided by those left wing, tin foil hat people or more likely was a law enforcement, justice system, industrial complex conspiracy designed to discredit that non- existent organization.

As I recall it was at about that point that the meeting broke up.  And right now I’m thinking to myself and of course my Dash hound is in total agreement that sometime in September (a date yet undetermined) will come the opportunity for a road trip.  I hear Chaffee County is beautiful that time of year with what remains of the unburned forest.   And I think it would be a real fun outing (call it a getaway) for the wife and I (and of course the Dash hound) to drop over that way and maybe have dinner and take in a movie or maybe a mandatory court hearing.  Man, I wouldn’t miss that for the world.  

http://www.nbc11news.com/home/…

http://www.denverpost.com/news…

 

TURNOUT MATTERS WHEN THE TIDE IS HELPING REPUBLICANS

A close reading of longitudinal Colorado data holds out the possibility Romney might beat Obama by 5% in our state. Read on for details.

Nate Silver, the FiveThirtyEight blogger, recently reported on the “house lean” of various national pollsters. Of special note for Colorado political junkies (and Denver Post writers), Silver showed Public Policy Polling as leaning 3.1% to the Democratic side. Since PPP has done almost half of the Obama vs Romney polls in Colorado since January, 2011, this could offer a decidedly jaundiced view of Romney's chances in our state. But, having already offered a correction to PPP's sampling, let's move on.

The eleven Colorado polls out there offer a lesson in the importance of turnout efforts.
A scatterplot review shows that the size of a poll's sample advantage for one party or the other is 74% correlated to the advantage either Obama or Romney have. Put simply, if a poll has lots more Democrats than Republicans in its sample, Obama wins; when Republicans outnumber Democrats in the sample, Romney makes it a neck-and-neck horse race.

One poll is excluded: a PPP poll that showed a statistically outsized Obama advantage of 13%; the R-squared diminished substantially when it was included. Two polls are at -5% turnout, about what current active voter registration shows) and a tie (Purple Strategies and Rasmussen). One pollster did not respond to an email request for partisan sample information. The three polls at the upper right are all PPP (!).

The red diamonds are actual turnout by party and election results (for Obama in '08, for all statewide candidates averaged in '10; source: Secretary of State). Both appear to show some hallmarks of a “wave” election, favoring Democrats in 2008 and Republicans in 2010. Note that even in 2008, Republicans outnumbered Democrats at the polls. We should, based on this, be suspicious of polls whose samples include more Democrats than Republicans. Pollsters, it ain't gonna happen in 2012 either. (Post reporters should also decline to report polling results as though they'd arrived by angel from heaven; tell your readers about sampling problems!)

Gallup offers Colorado data (here and here) on the changing party affiliation and lean over the last four years.

Republicans have, legitimately, worried about the party's “broken brand.” While Democrats still had the advantage nationally, Coloradans once again give Republicans the plurality lead. Part of that brand repair may be the result of our State House Republicans' legislative program that rolled back some of the Democrats' $5.9 Billion in tax hikes.

Gallup shows the advantage Democrats still had in 2010 with Independents who leaned more heavily to them than to Republicans. That may explain why Bennet and Hickenlooper won, although each enjoyed massive campaign cash advantages that allowed them to “buy” votes. If the Republican advantage of 2011 continues to this fall's election and we match Democrat and liberal special interest spending, Obama may have an uphill trudge.

With a 5% registration advantage and Independents leaning leaning only two percent more toward Democrats for the first time in two elections, this could be a very good year for Republican candidates. In 2008, Independents in Colorado leaned 11.4% more to the Democrats than toward the Republicans. McCain was, back then, 8.9% behind Obama, so he was about 2% BTE (better than expected). IF he gets both the 2011 Republican plus leaners advantage AND does 2% better than that, Romney could win Colorado by 5% over Obama.

ONE CAVEAT: Eric McGhee and John Sides appear to have demonstrated that “the partisan composition of voters depends on campaign activity” more than on job approval or the state of the economy. This means Colorado's results in November will depend on how well both sides perform in persuading swing voters and in turning out their committed supporters. Hard work matters.

Special thanks to Purple Strategies, Project New America and Marist for providing information not part of their press releases and websites.

 

DISAPPOINTMENT: Jobs Report Misses Mark…Again

The Obama Economy strikes again! The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released its June unemployment numbers, disappointing economists and analysts.  The report showed that U.S. payrolls expanded by just 80,000 (net) in June, stalling the unemployment rate at 8.2%.

Prior to the release of the numbers, Bloomberg polling of economists showed that they expected a gain of 100,000 positions in June.

The report comes on the heels of Bloomberg’s Consumer Confidence Index, which was down again this week.  It showed women feeling less confident about buying power and the overall economy.  It looks like women’s intuition called it correctly.

This is not good news for President Obama heading into a contentious election year.  Even worse – Hispanic and Latino unemployment remained essentially unchanged at 11.0 percent, and more black people were unemployed, raising their unemployment rate to 14.4 percent.

The May Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report by state showed Colorado at 8.1%.  The June report will come out on August 1, 2012. 

Several other key states in the 2012 election are lagging in job creation with unemployment higher than the national average, including Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Below is a chart showing the unemployment in these key states. 

 


 

BANKRUPT: 6 Photos Of Colorado Democrats & Abound Solar

With Congress investigating how Abound Solar got a $400 million taxpayer-backed loan, only to go bankrupt less than two years later, it is useful to look back at how tightly connected Colorado's Democrats were with the company. 

As we noted yesterday, former one-term governor Bill Ritter hand delivered two letters of support for Abound Solar to Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu. After leaving office, Ritter had a $300,000 a year salary partially bankrolled by Pat Stryker, whose Bohemian Companies had invested heavily in the failed solar panel manufacturer.

If Abound ends up being a full-blown pay-to-play scandal, these are the folks that will have some serious questions to answer. 

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

 

(Credit: ABC News)


Former one-term governor Bill Ritter

 

(Credit: NREL)

Congressman Jared Polis & former one-term governor Bill Ritter

 

(Credit: NREL

Bill Ritter, again. (At Abound ribbon-cutting)

(Credit: NREL)

Pat Stryker and former Congresswoman Betsy Markey

(Credit: Complete Colorado)

Ken Salazar inspecting solar panels at Abound. Any chance they are the defective ones that appeared on top of Pat Stryker's Bohemian Companies building?

 

(Credit: Washington Times)

And…Obama personally announcing the Abound Solar loan, promising "1,500 permanent jobs" between the Colorado and Indiana plants. Two days prior to this announcement a “Pat Stryker” shows up in White House visitor logs.

 

UNEASY: Women, Independents, Older Americans Less Confident in Economy

Bloomberg published its weekly Consumer Comfort Index on Thursday.  While the index showed an expected drop from negative 36.1 to negative 37.5 since last week, some of the survey results driving the overall average were unexpected. While respondents gave personal finances a rating of 1.8 (the survey ranges from negative 100 to 100), respondents viewed the state of the economy as negative 71.7.

The demographic data showed great disparities of opinion among key voting blocks as well.  Overall, men came in at negative 30.2, but women trailed at negative 44.3, meaning that women are feeling far more uneasy about their state of affairs.  Further, those aged 18 to 34 felt significantly better about the economy than those older than 65.  Strangely enough, it’s the 18 to 34 year olds who have the highest unemployment rates.

Finally, Independent voters rated consumer comfort twice as low as Democrats suggesting that Democrats may be more financially secure than Independent voters – whether perceived or real.  Below are a few charts that show these disparities.  It seems that the consumer is still having difficulty trusting the markets right now.  But, don't worry, the private sector is doing fine, right President Obama?

The survey began in December 1985, and has included the following questions: Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? Considering the cost of things today and your own personal finances, would you say now is an excellent time, a good time, a not so good time or a poor time to buy the things you want and need?

 

STRYKER ON THE STAND? Congress To Investigate Abound Solar Loan

Bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Abound Solar's troubles are about to get a whole lot worse. The Washington Examiner is reporting that U.S. House investigators are asking executives and former executives of Abound Solar to testify before Congress regarding its $400 million taxpayer-backed loan.

Reports The Examiner:

The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending invited the Abound Solar CEO and former CEO to testify, along with some Energy Department officials after the company announced it is filing for bankruptcy, despite drawing about $70 million of the $400 million available from the DOE loan guarantee.

The bankruptcy announcement comes after Abound laid off 280 employees in March. The DOE loan guarantee was projected to create 1200 permanent jobs.  

As in the case of Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy last year, a bundler for President Obama’s campaign has a financial stake in the solar company.  

Bohemian Companies, founded by Democratic mega-donor Pat Stryker, invested in Abound Solar in 2008. A year after the investment, but a year before Abound received a loan guarantee, Stryker apparently visited the White House.  “The White House did not confirm that the visitor was the Pat Stryker in question and did not provide details about the meeting,” the Sunlight Foundation reported.

Stryker has still not confirmed publicly that she met with the White House, or what might have been discussed. Now that Congress is investigating the defunct deal, it’s something worth unraveling.

As Todd Shepherd has exhaustively reported, Abound Solar had major problems before they got the loan, leading many to question how political connections helped the ailing company secure the loan.

If Congress is looking for a suggestion of people to subpoena, we might also suggest former one-term Governor Bill Ritter. According to The Denver Post, Ritter "hand delivered two letters of support" for Abound Solar directly to Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. After Ritter left office, Stryker's Bohemian Companies helped fund a $300,000 salary for Ritter at a new renewable energy center at CSU.

The more that comes out about Abound Solar the more it reeks of pay-to-play. It sure would be nice to put Pat Stryker and Bill Ritter under oath to find out exactly how taxpayers were put in a position to cover a $400 million loan to a politically connected company.  

(Photo Credit: NREL)


 

MORE PAIN: CO Manufacturing Shrinks Under Obama Economy

Recent reports of the US manufacturing sector shrinking for the first time in three years suggest that the policies of Obama and his Colorado cronies, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Dean Diana DeGette, and Rep. Jared Polis, have halted resuscitation of our sickly economy. No, friends, it’s not Bush’s fault this time.

Since President Obama took office, the Bureau of Labor statistics showed that CO lost nearly 15,000 manufacturing jobs. And these results are with a President who has made a PR show out of “breathing new life” into this ailing sector. 

Associated Press quoted analyst Dan Greenhaus, who seemed to be mentally wringing his hands, as he said, “This is not good…it is still a terribly weak number.”

Manufacturing in Colorado employs 5.6% of the state’s workforce, and the pay ain’t bad either: manufacturing compensation is 58% higher than other employers in the state, according to the National Association of Manufacturing.

According to the Denver Post, this news couldn’t have come at a worse time as “Colorado [is] among the laggards, ranking 46th among U.S. states [in job growth] with a 0.1 percent decline in jobs from January to June.”


 

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