Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stearns is plugging away

U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns of Northeast Florida is a low-key guy. I've known him for about 20 years and he is not a headline hunter, but he is a plugger.
As head of the House Energy Committee's oversight subcommittee, he has been investigating the Solyndra deal that just went bust.
In throwing cash all over the nation, the White House tossed a half-billion dollars at Solyndra, which makes solar panels. You know: "green" jobs and all that.
Well, Solyndra just went bankrupt. And 1,100 jobs went down the drain.
The deal smelled fishy from the start, which is why venture capitalists wouldn't put money into it. But one of the investors was a big Democrat cash-bundler. The company got a $535 million loan guarantee from the government.
Stearns has learned that the Office of Management and Budget, which is supposed to recommend a stimulus project before it goes forward, never made a recommendation on Solyndra. It took a while to find this out because the administration stonewalled the congressional effort to get the information.
Yes, that's the same administration that promised to set the highest standards for "transparency." Instead, it has been one of the most secretive and least cooperative.
The Government Accounting Office also has looked at the deal and found that several required steps in the process were leapfrogged.
Now the taxpayers apparently are out the money and Stearns wants to hold hearings to find out how much more of the trillion dollars in stimulus was hurried out the door without proper vetting.
No problem, the White House says. It knew all along that some of the programs weren't going to be a success.

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