Scribe has reported extensively on the tendency of large government spending projects to reward the politically connected. It’s a virtual constant of federal interventions in the market, and perhaps nowhere is it more evident than in the Obama administration’s “green jobs” push.
Writing on National Review Online today, I detail the political connections backstopping California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and take a look at the extensive taxpayer support given to nine different companies financed by the firm.
Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer reports in his new book that as of mid-September, 80 percent of Energy Department renewable-energy loans went to firms that have supported the president or his party financially. The administration, for its part, seems more concerned with the “optics” of such allegations than the problematic nature of a federal bureaucracy that rewards political insiders. Hence, a former Obama campaign staffer suggested in February that Energy Secretary Steven Chu be fired, not for any alleged wrongdoing, but rather to preempt “the wave of GOP attacks that are surely coming over Solyndra and other inside DOE deals that have gone to Obama donors and have underperformed.”
In the case of Fisker specifically, conservatives should recognize the importance of California venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — which is one of Fisker’s larger investors, having contributed mightily to its initial $1.1 billion capital infusion. The company is teeming with political connections.
Al Gore joined Kleiner Perkins as a senior partner in 2007 — to save the planet, CNN reported. Top Kleiner Perkins executives have given more than a million dollars to federal candidates and parties since 1991, most of it going to Democrats. Obama himself has received $19,000 from the company’s employees.
While Gore is the most famous Kleiner Perkins executive, John Doerr, another senior partner, has also been very active in liberal politics. He currently sits on the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and hosted President Obama at his home for a dinner with top Silicon Valley executives in February. Doerr was also very active in pushing the Global Warming Solutions Act, California’s punitive 2006 carbon-emissions law.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Brook Byers, also a major partner, has made $391,110 in political contributions since 1990, $148,500 of which went directly to the Democratic party (most of the rest went to individual Democratic candidates). Kleiner Perkins co-founder Frank Caufield’s $394,950 in political contributions since 1990 have gone almost entirely to Democrats. Another top partner, David Blood, helped organize a $2,300-a-head fundraiser for Candidate Obama in 2008.