Powerful Democrats help Chinese energy firm chase stimulus money

December 9, 2010 16:59

Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money, even though a Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China.

By Russ Choma at INVESTIGATIVE Reporting Workshop – American University School of Communication


The farm’s backers also have close ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who, at the height of his hard-fought reelection bid this fall, helped blunt Congressional criticism over stimulus dollars possibly going to create jobs in China by endorsing a proposal by the Chinese company to build a factory in his home state. Although his campaign received thousands of dollars in donations from the wind farm’s backers and Reid stood on stage with them at a campaign event they hosted, his office declined to answer any questions about the wind farm’s organizers or their plans for Nevada.

Besides the $450 million stimulus grant, A-Power’s SEC filings indicate the joint-venture will pursue a Department of Energy-backed loan guarantee. According to the SEC filings, the project is waiting to hear if it will receive the loan guarantee before financing will follow to build the turbines.

The investment group’s public face is often Cappy McGarr, a wealthy Texas philanthropist, investor and longtime fixture in Democratic politics, who has given heavily to Democratic candidates across the country and was an early backer of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.


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