Sept 27, 2010
MARKEY, STRYKER, AND ABOUND SOLAR:
PAY TO PLAY? POLITICS AS USUAL? OR BOTH?
It's only natural that the interests, especially the business interests, between politically like-minded people should have some overlap.
That said, the connections between Representative Betsy Markey (D, CO-4), billionaire heiress Pat Stryker, and Abound Solar, appear to have all of the fingerprints of the kind of pay-to-play agenda that has left many Americans wondering how they got stuck with unpopular bills such as cap and trade, formally known as Waxman-Markey (named after a different Markey). (As of this publishing, cap and trade has passed in the House of Representatives, but not the US Senate).
On June 26, 2009, the Denver Post editorialized about Waxman-Markey:
Fashioned to avoid appearing like a new tax, the measure nevertheless would work like one, as the higher costs of meeting the caps get passed on to consumers. The measure risks hurting our competitiveness globally without effectively lowering global greenhouse gases.Later that afternoon, Markey cast her vote in the affirmative for the bill.
Perhaps it wasn't for nothing.
One of the clearest benefactors of this type of legislation would be any company in the "new, green economy." For example, companies such as Abound Solar, with a production plant in Markey's district. And in gratitude for her vote, Abound Solar ran "thank you" ads for Markey:
"We're saluting Betsy Markey for voting for Colorado's future," states the newest 30-second TV ad, which is running on Fort Collins and Greeley cable systems. The ad was paid for by Abound Solar, Wirsol Solar Independence, GenGreen Life, Vestas American Wind Technology, New Belgium Brewing and Bella Energy.The connections between Markey and Abound keep coming, however.
Markey enjoys the support of liberal billionaire heiress Pat Stryker, whose investment group, "Bohemian Companies," owns a stake in Abound Solar. Stryker is well-known as a member of the "gang of four," a group of wealthy investors who directed millions to Colorado Democrats over the last decade. In this election cycle, Stryker has made direct contributions to Markey's re-election campaign.
Additionally, to complete the circle of life, Markey helped push for and acheive $400-million in federally backed loans for Abound.
Why wouldn't the billionaire heiress provide her own $400-million as a loan? Perhaps she doesn't have that much faith in Abound. Perhaps because she knows that you get a better ROI when you use other people's money.
In this case, other people's money is your money. Money Stryker knew Representative Betsy Markey could provide.
And of course, there's always the chance that Abound could fail. But those chances are less-likely in the wake of an energy bill that would create a green-energy cartel.
Sept 27, 2010 UPDATE, 10:30 AM
A reader sends this story from July regarding another potential corruption angle, this time involving an Abound marketing exec, Russell Kanjorski.
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