Cronyism: The Proof is in the Plankton


Good lord, these people can’t even dabble in seaweed without there being an inevitable crony connection:

Solazyme, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in the plant matter, has received more than $25 million in federal grants and contracts as part of Obama administration’s controversial stimulus package, and is poised to receive millions more as part of the president’s recent efforts to promote green biofuels such as algae.

The firm employs a former member of the Obama-Biden transition team who, according to one online bio, “played a key role in developing the energy provisions in the economic stimulus bill.”

TJ Glauthier, who is listed as a “strategic adviser” and corporate board member, previously held a number of high-ranking posts in the Clinton Administration, including deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Glauthier’s bio on the Solazyme website used to note that he “focused primarily on the energy portion of the economic stimulus bill,” but has since been amended to remove all reference to his work in the Obama administration.

It does mention, however, that Glauthier serves on the board of EnerNOC Inc., a company that provides demand-response services to electric utility firms.

EnerNOC won a $10 million contract with the Department of Energy Resources in 2010 despite being underbid by competitors, the Boston Herald reported.

Glauthier also served on the board of SunRun, a solar financing company that received a $6.7 million federal grant in 2010.

Glauthier’s relationship with Democratic lawmakers has been beneficial. Since 2007, he has donated nearly $8,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, including $2,500 to Obama.

Solazyme’s other board members and top executives have given much more.

In total, Solazyme officials have contributed at least $360,000 to Democrats since 2007. The majority of that money has come from just three individuals: board members Jerry Fiddler ($226,650) and Daniel Miller (more than $36,000), and executive vice president of technology Peter Licari (more than $100,000).

Not a bad deal: “I’ll make sure you get millions of taxpayer dollars if you use some of the money to help fund my re-election.” A time-honored tradition.

So, just donate a bunch of money to Obama’s re-election, stop cleaning your aquarium for a few weeks, apply for a DoE grant for “green fuel” research, and voilà! You too can be an algae millionaire!

Read Michelle Malkin’s column today for more on the algae racket.