Media Trying to Convince Themselves They've Found Romney's Solyndra

June 5th, 2012 4:23 PM

The Boston Globe is reporting on a Massachusetts solar company that received state loans under Governor Romney, and is now filing for bankruptcy.  The Globe insists that this news means that Romney's attacks on the President's failed Solyndra investment have backfired, and are implying that it opens up the Republican presidential contender up to charges of hypocrisy

An excerpt:

A Lowell-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy.

Konarka Technologies disclosed Friday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and would fire its 80-member staff and liquidate its assets.

Romney has chided President Obama for investing $535 million in a different solar company that failed, and has insisted governments should not pick winners and losers in the private sector. He held a press conference at the Fremont, Calif., headquarters of that company, Solyndra, last Thursday, saying, “Free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends.’

The Washington Post has also chimed in, stating that this incident leaves him "vulnerable to criticism". What the media isn't reporting on is some very obvious differences between the two solar ventures.

  • Despite using the above quote about giving taxpayer money to his friends, the Globe fails to demonstrate any parallel with Romney, citing no evidence of Romney's associations with Konarka.  Whereas Solyndra has the George Kaiser/Obama direct relationship.

  • The difference between the loans offered the two companies is vast.  The $1.5 million in state loans offered Konarka represents less than 0.3% of the $535 million loan granted to Solyndra.

  • Konarka paid back their loan according to CEO Howard Berke, while taxpayers will not be seeing their Solyndra investment returned anytime soon. 

  • Solyndra's demise happened just over two years after receiving their hefty helping of government loans, while still under Obama's term as President of the United States.  Konarka's bankruptcy is now being filed nearly a decade after they received their state money, and a full five years after Romney last occupied the Governor's office in Massachusetts.

Then of course, there's this kicker from the Globe article itself.  Painting the Konarka bankruptcy as a blemish on the record of Mitt Romney, who awarded them the $1.5 million in state loans back in 2003, is misleading, since such funding was not the most recent received by the company.  

Konarka it seems received a $1.6 million army contract in 2005, and a $3.6 million award from the Department of Energy in 2007 under then-President Bush.

Even more interesting is the fact that the company shared in an announced $2.3 billion in tax credits that they received under President Obama for clean-energy manufacturing projects.  The tax credits were part of the $787 billion stimulus bill, and were awarded to 183 total companies.  The average tax credit per company would have been roughly $12.5 million each, though a previous Globe article doesn't specify the amount received by Konarka.

Only the mainstream media can take something that can be more closely associated with President Obama, and turn it into a blight against Mitt Romney's record.

Cross-posted at the Mental Recession