I received a link to this story from one of our talk show listeners in Helena, Montana. It’s a very interesting story, but I wondered what the Montana connection may be for the blog here. That’s where social networking came in handy.
First, the story: a rich California green power investor became a big fundraiser for now President Obama. Since that time, that same rich investor has received federal subsidies, and a high powered appointment. And now, this same gentleman can’t even answer a question when queried by an ABC reporter in Washington, DC.
The Center for Public Integrity has this story featuring Steve Westly, who campaigned for the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nomination in California:
Since June 2009, four companies in his venture firm’s portfolio have received more than half a billion dollars in loans, grants or stimulus money from the Obama Energy Department, a review by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News has found.
Relatively few companies succeed in winning such benefits. More than 90 percent of applicants have failed to secure funding in two programs benefiting three Westly-backed firms.
I shared this story via Twitter, not knowing of a Montana connection, and ended up having a great conversation with Havre, MT native- and Democratic Political Consultant in California- Bob Brigham. Brigham tells me that he campaigned against Westly in the 2006 nomination. Oddly enough, Westly’s campaign, Brigham says, was run by another Montana native- Garry South, a former student government president at The University of Montana who I had the pleasure of meeting on campus a few years ago.
Brigham says, despite their political battles, he gets along with South. But, he added that he doesn’t share the same appreciation for top Obama staffer Jim Messina, also a University of Montana alum. Brigham then sent me this post, sharing a funny story titled “Jim Messina, Obama’s Josh Lyman, Needed Help Turning on ESPN?”
Westly refusing to answer a question: