The Spectacle Blog

An Ill Wind that Blows No ‘Foreign’ Campaign Money?

By on 10.13.10 | 2:52PM

So a colleague of mine at CEI passes along to me an email from someone overseas we both know well as a longtime energy industry investor, reading as follows (with just a few typos owing to language differences cleaned up):

"Recently I read about how the Obama administration is demonising [sic] donors to GOP. That The Chamber of Commerce have donors from abroad. [In] 2008 I was at several trade fairs in Germany about renewable energy. I heard companies bragging they were supporting the Obama campaign.

They and their shareholders would be direct beneficiaries of his pledge for more subsidies to renewable energy."

He then suggested we check certain things out.

Now, President Obama was complicit in an effort to enlist (according to his own smear campaign) foreign money to lobby for the cap-and-trade energy rationing bill that was clearly against America's interests...that would be the same Chamber, incidentally. So, in what should be a surprise to no one, it turns out that his more regular political dance partner the windmill industry are indeed largely a bunch of foreigners! (like the solar guys...as we learned the hard and expensive way with the stimulus boodle sent overseas).

And just as surely, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is giving 86% of their money to Democrats this cycle. Again, many of their member companies, you will see via that Open Secrets link, are foreign companies, which can donate through employees of US subsidiaries. I know, I know, that's distinct from US companies with foreign subsidiaries paying dues to their parent organization which uses different funds for its advocacy. It is much more nefarious. Or something.

Just to illuminate the rampant hypocrisy running through this particular example, this interest group is as I have pointed out before, in addition to being made up of many foreign companies (!), also a "fossil fuel-funded industry group", the creature against which they railed so regularly until being called on it. And which their political allies dine out regularly by bashing as a means to advance, well, their shared agenda of transferring your wealth to their politically divined corporate welfare schemes, rewarding uneconomic boondoggles at your expense.

So, is Washington really beyond recognition now as promised throughout 2008...or has this crowd only made it worse?

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