By Jim Geraghty
As featured in the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt, a new television ad from Team Romney, featuring a stimulus critic you would probably never expect to see:
"Where Did the Money Go?"
VIDEO TEXT: "Where Did All the Obama Stimulus Money Go?"
VOICEOVER: "Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?"
VOICEOVER: "Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups"
VOICEOVER: "Where did the Obama stimulus money go?"
VOICEOVER: "500 million taxpayer dollars"
VOICEOVER: "So where did the Obama stimulus money go?"
VOICEOVER: "Windmills from China"
VOICEOVER: "Electric cars from Finland"
VIDEO TEXT: "Democrat Senator Charles Schumer"
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER: "79 percent of the 2.1 billion in stimulus grants awarded through it went to overseas companies."
MITT ROMNEY: "I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message."
Background on the ad's information below:
VIDEO TEXT: "Friends, Donors, Campaign Supporters, Special Interest Groups"
* Top Obama Fundraisers 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)
* "Several Political Allies" of President Obama Had "Ties to Companies Receiving Chunks" of Taxpayer Money from the Stimulus. "A joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity that will air on World News with Diane Sawyer tonight has found that Westly is just one of several political allies of the president who have ties to companies receiving chunks of that money through loans, grants, or loan guarantees." (Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk, "Did Obama Administration Play Favorites With Energy Loans?," ABC News, 10/30/11)
* "Nearly 200 Of [President Obama's] Biggest Donors Have Landed Plum Government Jobs and Advisory Posts, Won Federal Contracts Worth Millions of Dollars for Their Business Interests . . ." "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, et al, "Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More," iWatch News, 6/15/11)
* Obama Fundraiser Steve Westly "Has Had a Stake in at Least Five Companies That Have Won DOE Support." "Obama's political supporters were also investors in companies that had applied for loans. Westly has had a stake in at least five companies that have won DOE support; four won funding before he joined Chu's board. While it is common for presidents to reward top donors with ambassadorships or other political posts, the Sunlight Foundation's Bill Allison said it is unusual to see a major donor such as Spinner given a position inside a relatively obscure government loan program." (Ronnie Green and Matthew Mosk, "Bundlers On The Inside,"iWatch, 9/29/11)
* The Obama Administration Awarded Solyndra a $535 Million Loan Guarantee -- the Company Went Bankrupt in 2011. "In a blow to the Obama administration's efforts to create green jobs, solar-cell maker Solyndra announced Wednesday that it will close its remaining Fremont factory, lay off its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy. The news marked an abrupt end for a company once considered among the most innovative in a fast-changing industry. The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers. Solyndra was the first company to win one of the guarantees, receiving $535 million in 2009 to build its second factory in Fremont less than a mile from the company's original plant." (David R. Baker and Carolyn Said, "Solyndra Closes Fremont Plant -- Stimulus Hopes Dim," San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/11)
* President Obama's Stimulus Sent More Than $2 Billion in Taxpayer Funds to Foreign-Owned Businesses. "For those of you keeping score at home, I also updated the numbers. Here are some key figures to date: More than 1,100 projects have been funded under the Section 1603 program. Only about 75 are wind farms, but they have received $4.4 billion worth of grants. 54 percent of that -- $2.38 billion -- has gone to foreign developers. A total of 4,232 turbines were erected on those 75 farms, and 2,760 were built by foreign manufacturers -- that's 65.2 percent." (Russ Choma, "Workshop's Wind Stories Kicking Up Political Dust," Investigative Reporting Workshop, 9/27/10)
* Foreign-Owned Companies Receiving Stimulus Funds Included Companies From Spain, Germany, Japan, and China. "As we know from Choma's exhaustive research, it is true that foreign-owned companies have received $2.4 billion in grants to build wind farms in the U.S. Choma gives this breakdown: Spain, $1.1 billion; Germany, $474.4 million; Portugal, $333 million; Australia, $178 million; Japan, $130.5 million; Italy, $84.2 million; France, $69.5 million; United Kingdom, $42.2 million; China, $2.6 million." (Eugene Kiely, et al, "Stimulus Jobs In China?," FactCheck.org, 10/29/10)
* In 2009, the Department of Energy Granted Fisker a $529 Million Stimulus Loan Guarantee That Was Intended to Help Revive a Former GM Plant In Delaware. "In September, Secretary Chu announced a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids, which will save hundreds of millions gallons of gasoline and offset millions of tons of carbon pollution by 2016. Of the total loan, $359 million is going to revive manufacturing at the Boxwood Plant. The Boxwood Plant will support Fisker Automotive's Project NINA, the development and build of a mass-market plug-in hybrid sedan." (Press Release, "Vice President Biden Announces Reopening Of Former GM Boxwood Plant," Office Of The Vice President, 10/27/09)
* "With The Approval of the Obama Administration," Fisker Began Assembling Its First Line of Cars in Finland. "With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work." (Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, "Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland," ABC News, 10/20/11)
* "Fisker Used the First $169 Million in Taxpayer Funds to Bring to Market the Karma, a Flashy $100,000 Hybrid Sports Sedan That It Assembles in Finland." (Matthew Mosk, "Fisker May Never Build Electric Cars In US," ABC News, 5/30/12)
* Today, the Fisker Plant in Delaware Is "Absolutely Empty" After Laying Off Workers. "Fisker Automotive has laid off another dozen workers at the former General Motors plant in Delaware that it has been refitting with federal and state money to build a new sedan. The layoffs, which occurred quietly Friday, come as California-based Fisker continues talks with the U.S. Energy Department to unfreeze loan money that could determine whether it ever builds a car at the plant. . . . Jeffrey Garland, a Delawarean who was spearheading community affairs and business development efforts in the state for Fisker, said the Fisker plant, shut down by GM in 2009, is "absolutely empty.'" ("Fisker On Ropes? Delaware Plant "Absolutely Empty,'" USA Today, 4/18/12)
* SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER: "A recent report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop revealed that since this program began, 79 percent of the $2.1 billion in stimulus grants awarded through it went to overseas companies -- $2.1 billion. At a time when millions of American are unemployed, this is beyond outrageous. How do you think it looks to workers at the wind turbine plant at Vestas in Windsor, Colorado, who were just laid off? Or in other states where workers are also being let go because there is not enough manufacturing work?" (Senator Chuck Schumer, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 3/3/10)
MITT ROMNEY: "I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message."