Friday, October 14, 2011

Hatch’s Disgrace? A Bankruptcy Two Months After Federal Grant

Salt Lake City — Over the past month Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been attacking federal loans to solar energy company Solyndra, going so far as to call it a “disgrace” on national television. What Hatch failed to mention is his shepherding of a $33 million grant to his solar pet project, Raser Technologies, that recently went bust. The company filed for bankruptcy just two months after pocketing the federal cash.

Utah State Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis said the real disgrace is the Senator’s glaring hypocrisy. Dabakis asks, "Senator Hatch, is this use of the taxpayers' money due to your influence 'disgraceful', too?" "In order to please the far-right wing Patrick Henry/Tea Party elements, Senator Hatch, seems to be willing to say anything – attacking Obama when he has done the same thing and his flip-flop on the Dream Act are just two examples. The Senator is displaying an abundance of hypocrisy. The Senator’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ arrogance is duplicitous." The record shows that Hatch has been involved in direct communication with Raser’s leadership for years and championed tax incentives that directly benefited the company.

“Being so heavily involved with a company that secured millions in taxpayer grants while criticizing the current administration for supporting loans for a similar company shows a glaring lack of integrity and consistency,” said Dabakis. Dabakis concluded, “In a time when the federal deficit is soaring, it is maddening that Senator Hatch cares more about currying favor his past donors than he does about stopping the federal money hemorrhaging. We suggest the Senator stop worrying about winning a popularity contest with the far-right wing and instead come to the table offering substantive solutions to create jobs for Utah workers.”

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