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The Big Payback

- July 16, 2012

Obama Has Showered His Cronies With Billions In Payoffs While The Middle Class Has Endured Over Three Years Of Layoffs


 OBAMA BUNDLERS USED THEIR ACCESS TO SCORE TAXPAYER FUNDS FOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS WHILE AMERICANS GOT STUCK WITH THEIR LOSSES

Nearly 200 Of Obama's Biggest Donors Have Raked In Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars Or Plum Positions In The Obama Administration. "More than two years after President Obama took office vowing to banish 'special interests' from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found." (Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, "Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More," iWatch, 6/15/11)

  • Obama Bundlers Had At Least 3,000 Meetings At The White House, Plus "Broad Access" To Obama Officials And "Glitzy Social Events." "The big bundlers had broad access to the White House for meetings with top administration officials and glitzy social events. In all, campaign bundlers and their family members account for more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits. Half of them raised $200,000 or more." (Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, "Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More," iWatch , 6/15/11)
  • Among Obama's Bundlers "30 Have Ties To Companies That Conduct Business With Federal Agencies Or Hope To Do So In The Future." "Earlier this year the Center reported that at least 68 Obama bundlers for the 2012 election or their spouses have served in the administration in some capacity; at least 250 of the bundlers visited the White House, and another 30 have ties to companies that conduct business with federal agencies or hope to do so in the future." (Aaron Mehta, "President's Friends Have Raised At Least $106 Million So Far," iWatch, 4/20/12)

Obama Bundlers Worked In His Department Of Energy "As It Showered Billions In Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Money On Alternative Energy Firms." "Several of Barack Obama's top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, iWatch News and ABC News have learned." (Ronnie Green And Matthew Mosk, "Bundlers On The Inside," iWatch , 9/29/11)

  • "$3.9 Billion In Federal Grants And Financing Flowed To 21 Companies Backed By Firms With Connections To Five Obama Administration Staffers And Advisers." (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Venture Capitalists Play Key Role In Obama's Energy Department," The Washington Post, 2/14/12)
  • "The Administration Tapped Industry Players To Take On Key Energy Department Roles, Both As Agency Staffers And Outside Advisers On Agency Boards." (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Venture Capitalists Play Key Role In Obama's Energy Department," The Washington Post, 2/14/12)

The Washington Post: "You Can Call It Crony Capitalism Or Venture Socialism - But By Whatever Name, The Energy Department's Loan Guarantee Program Privatizes Profits And Socializes Losses." (Editorial, "The Energy Department's Loan Guarantee Program Is The Real Solyndra Scandal," The Washington Post, 11/17/11)

OBAMA'S MONEY MAN IN SILICON VALLEY RAKED IN MILLIONS FROM THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S GREEN ENERGY INVESTMENTS

Steve Westly Brought In Big Bucks For Obama By Connecting Him With Silicon Valley

As An Obama Bundler, Steve Westly Has Raised Over $1 Million For Obama During The 2008 And 2012 Election Cycles. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 7/13/12)

  • In 2008, Westly Served As The California Co-Chair Of Obama For President And As A National Finance Committee Member. "In the 2008 election cycle Mr. Westly served as a California co-chair and a National Finance Committee member of the Obama for America campaign." ( The Westly Group Website, Accessed 7/13/11)
  • In October 2010, Westly Hosted A $30,400-A-Plate Fundraiser For Obama At His Home In California. "He then starred at a $30,400-a-person event to benefit the Democratic National Committee for about 50 attendees at the Atherton home of former state Controller Steve Westly." (Carla Marinucci, "Obama Talks Innovation At Google Exec's Home," The San Francisco Chronicle, 10/22/10)
  • In March 2012, Westly Organized A Fundraiser For An Obama Super PAC That Was Headlined By White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe. "David Plouffe, a top political adviser to President Obama, is scheduled to appear at a West Coast fund-raising meeting Friday for the 'super PAC' backing President Obama's re-election bid, according to several people familiar with the event. … The meeting in the Bay Area is for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC set up by Mr. Obama's former aides. It is being organized by Steve Westly, a venture capitalist and major fund-raiser for the Obama campaign in both 2008 and 2012." (Michael Luo and Nicholas Confessore, "Top Obama Adviser To Appear At 'Super PAC' Meeting," The New York Times, 3/2/12)

Steve Westly Stood Ready To Take Advantage Of The Billions Obama Threw At Green Energy

Steve Westly On Investing: "Who Cares About What I Think, Let's Talk About What Does Obama Like?" WESTLY: "People ask me about this all the time and I'm so flattered. But what I'd say is 'who cares about what I think let's talk about what does Obama like?' Here's what he likes because here's where the federal government is putting money and let me tell you whatever he likes, that's what I like." (Steve Westy On Clean Teach On GTM TV, 2/10/10)

  • The Westly Group's Website Boasted That They Are "Uniquely Positioned To Take Advantage" Of The Billions In Subsidies That Obama Offers To Green Energy Firms. "'We believe that with the Obama administration, and other governments … committing hundreds of billions of dollars to clean tech, there has never been a better time to launch clean tech companies,' says his company website. 'The Westly Group is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this surge of interest and growth.'" (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
  • "In Connecting Green Technology Startups With Government Money, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Steve Westly Boasts Of A Special Touch." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
  • Westly Serves On Energy Secretary Chu's Advisory Board As A Representative From The Venture Capital Industry. "He currently serves on the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board as a representative for the venture capital industry." ( The Westly Group Website, Accessed 7/13/11)

Westly's Relationship With The Obama Administration Paid Out Over $500 Million

Westly's Venture Capital Firm Has "Received More Than Half A Billion Dollars In Loans, Grants Or Stimulus Money From The Obama Energy Department …" "All the while, Westly's four-year-old green business has boomed. Since June 2009, four companies in his venture firm's portfolio have received more than half a billion dollars in loans, grants or stimulus money from the Obama Energy Department, a review by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News has found." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)

  • "Relatively Few Companies Succeed In Winning Such Benefits. More Than 90 Percent Of Applicants Have Failed To Secure Funding In Two Programs Benefiting Three Westly-Backed Firms." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
  • Westly Group's Portfolio Companies Received $600 Million In Funding. "Westly's firm also fared well in the agency's distribution of loans and grants. Its portfolio companies received $600 million in funding." (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Venture Capitalists Play Key Role In Obama's Energy Department," The Washington Post, 2/14/12)

DAVID AXELROD'S FORMER PR FIRM BENEFITED FROM THE PRESIDENT'S BACKROOM DEAL WITH PHRMA WHILE HE WAS STILL GETTING PAID BY THEM

Obama Cut A Deal With PhRMA To Launch A "Media Blitz" In Favor Of ObamaCare

Following A Deal With The White House, PhRMA Launched A Media Blitz To Garner Support For ObamaCare. "The drug industry, for example, struck a deal with the Obama administration and is now waging a major advertising campaign to help push the health care overhaul." (David D. Kirkpatrick, "Groups Back Health Reform, But Seek Cover," The New York Times, 9/12/09)

  • Memos And Emails Show That The Industry Would Finance Ads In Favor Of ObamaCare. "The internal memos and e-mails for the first time unveil the industry's plan to finance positive TV ads and supportive groups, along with providing $80 billion in discounts and taxes that were included in the law. The administration has previously denied the existence of a deal involving political support." (Drew Armstrong, "Drugmakers Vowed To Campaign For Health Law, Memos Say," Bloomberg, 5/31/12)
  • As Part Of That Effort, The White House And The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Created The Non-Profit Healthy Economy Now. "One such organization, Healthy Economy Now, was created in the spring of 2009 in conjunction with White House officials and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee according to the emails." (Alicia Mundy, "More Emails Emerge From 2009 Health Push," The Wall Street Journal's " Washington Wire," 6/8/12)

PhRMA's Non-Profit Front Group Hired Axelrod's Former PR Firm AKPD

Healthy Economy Now Brought On The Firm AKPD To Produce Ads "Echoing White House Talking Points." "The two firms were hired to make the health-care ads by a pair of linked coalitions supporting Obama's health-care overhaul proposal - Healthy Economy Now and a newer offshoot unveiled last week called Americans for Stable Quality Care. The Associated Press reported this month that Healthy Economy Now paid AKPD and GMMB to produce a $12 million national ad campaign echoing White House talking points supporting the health care overhaul." (Kenneth P. Vogel, "David Axelrod's Ties Targeted In Health Fight," Politico, 8/19/09)

  • Prior To Becoming Obama's Senior Advisor, Axelrod Was "President And Sole Shareholder Of AKPD" Up Until Obama Assumed The Presidency. "Axelrod was president and sole shareholder of AKPD from 1985 until he sold his interest after Obama's victory, government records show." (Timothy J. Burger, "Obama Campaign Ad Firms Signed On To Push Health-Care Overhaul," Bloomberg, 8/15/09)
  • In 2008, The Obama Campaign Paid AKPD $2.77 Million In Fees . "Last year, the Obama campaign paid $2.77 million in consulting fees to AKPD and $340.53 million to GMMB to produce and place ads, Federal Election Commission records show." (Timothy J. Burger, "Obama Campaign Ad Firms Signed On To Push Health-Care Overhaul," Bloomberg, 8/15/09)

The Deal Came As Axelrod Was Still Making Millions From His Old Firm

Axelrod Was Due $2 Million From AKPD To Be Paid In Installments Beginning December 31, Which Conveniently Happened To Be During The Midst Of The ObamaCare Debate. "The firm owes Axelrod $2 million, which it's due to pay in installments beginning Dec. 31." (Timothy J. Burger, "Obama Campaign Ad Firms Signed On To Push Health-Care Overhaul," Bloomberg, 8/15/09)

  • Axelrod Continued Receiving Payments From AKPD Even As He Served Obama In The White House. "Mr. Axelrod-who left the White House last year-started AKPD in 1985. The firm earned millions helping run Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Mr. Axelrod moved to the White House in 2009 and agreed to have AKPD buy him out for $2 million. But AKPD chose to pay Mr. Axelrod in annual installments-even as he worked in the West Wing. This agreement somehow passed muster with the Office of Government Ethics, though the situation at the very least should have walled off AKPD from working on White-House priorities." (Kimberly Strassel, Op-Ed, "Axelrod's ObamaCare Dollars," The Wall Street Journal, 6/21/12)
  • "That Firm, AKPD Message And Media, Still Owes Mr. Axelrod Money And Employs His Son." (Kimberly Strassel, Op-Ed, "Axelrod's ObamaCare Dollars," The Wall Street Journal, 6/21/12)

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